CUs More Likely To Eat Health Care Costs

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Despite sharp rises in health care costs, credit unions are much less likely than all other employers to pass those rising costs onto their employees through their benefits package, according to a new survey from CUNA.

Absorbing those costs, the trade group said, is "an advantage for credit unions in recruitment, retention, and overall satisfaction."

"Facing double-digit premium increases for three consecutive years coupled with the highest premium increase since 1990, many employers passed along the higher costs through the amount of employee contributions in premiums, drug or office visit co-pays, and/or deductibles," CUNA said. "But credit unions in that same time period have shown a tendency to absorb these costs or, at the least, minimize those passed onto their employees."

The findings are part of E-Scan's Credit Union Staff Benefits Survey from CUNA's Center for Research & Advice. That analysis examines health insurance, disability insurance, retirement and savings plans, time off, group life insurance, and 40 other benefits.

"Credit union health plans should be working to recruit and retain employees, since fewer credit unions than employers overall have increased deductibles or added increased cost-sharing features to their health plans," said Vicki Joyal, vice president of research services for CUNA.

CUNA added that keeping employees happy by keeping health care costs static does not mean that credit unions should suffer with large premium increases. "The survey results indicate that credit unions could become even more competitive by taking measures to ensure that they are receiving the best possible insurance rates, such as more forcefully negotiating premiums and making providers compete for their business," Joyal added.

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