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Survey Highlights Ongoing Shift To Wellness to Manage Health Care Costs
Date:3/27/2008

Cowden Associates Finds High-Deductible Health Plans Not the Solution for

Employers

PITTSBURGH, March 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Employers in Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio believe the future of managing health care costs lies in helping their employees manage their health through wellness programs, according to Cowden Associates, Inc. Seventh Annual Tri-State Area Employee Benefit Survey.

Cowden Associates, the region's leading independent human resources, compensation and employee benefit consulting firm, compiled results of its 2007-2008 survey from 274 employers throughout the tri-state region. Survey participants include for-profit, nonprofit and governmental employers. Size of employers ranged from less than 100 employees to more than 10,000.

"Competition for talented employees is strong, and employee benefits play a critical role in attracting and retaining those employees," said Cowden Associates President and CEO Jere Cowden. "As regional employers work to attract and retain talent in part through strong employee benefits plans, our regional survey data allow them to benchmark themselves against their regional competition and develop attractive, cost-effective plans."

Although the percentage of survey participants who offer high-deductible health plans as their primary plan increased from 2.5 percent to nearly 9 percent, more than 84 percent of participants who do not offer such plans said they are not interested in one or not likely to offer one in the future.

"Despite the increase in employers offering high-deductible plans, the future outlook for such plans as a solution for employers to contain their health care costs is not good," said Cowden Associates Executive Vice President Vince Wolf. "Most employers in the region are not offering a high- deductible plan today and do not plan to in the future. This finding is strikingly different than the popular notion that high-deductible pl
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SOURCE Cowden Associates, Inc.
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