First few Article Sentences
The cost of health care in the United States has been increasing for the last 15 years, and it continues to outpace other expenses and eat away at corporate profits. Indeed, the average employer health premium now costs more than twice what it did in 2001.
Further raising premium costs are regulated benefit levels imposed by individual states and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the health care reform bill, which has added a financial and administrative burden to employer plans.
In light of these increases, many companies are refocusing their attention on containing their costs through various strategies, which include reducing benefits, emphasizing wellness programs, and increasing cost sharing to members. One strategy that has proved successful in reducing costs while providing a similar level of benefits to employees is self-funding.