Cost Sharing and the Changing Pattern of Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits

The perception that employers have been redesigning group health benefits to encourage more cost-effective use is distorted by limited study methods. New estimates of initiatives undertaken by larger private-sector employers-based on nationally representative data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics-reveal a more uncertain picture of cost containment. Cost sharing for initial hospital stays was broadened between 1981 and 1985, but coverage in most other areas-categories of care, lifetime benefit limits, etc.-was actually increased. Real health care expenditures will continue to grow absent more significant employee cost sharing.

Author(s): Gail A. Jensen; Michael A. Morrisey; John W. Marcus

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Volume 65, Issue 4 (pages 521–550)
Published in 1987