Employer Health Care Spending Drops as Percent of GNP for First Time

April 1986
Risk Management (00355593);Apr86, Vol. 33 Issue 4, p106
Trade Publication
This article reports on the decline in employer contributions for health coverage as a percent of the gross national product (GNP), as of April 1986. According to new data from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), employer contributions for employee health insurance in 1984 accounted for 2.57 percent of GNP, down from 2.63 percent in 1983. Employers spent $97 billion for employee health coverage in 1984, up from the $89.9 billion they spent in 1983, but growth of the total economy exceeded the growth of health spending, leading to the GNP percentage decline. While the cause of that percentage decline is not fully known, EBRI says it is partly the result of private initiatives to contain health care costs. Changes in the health care market brought about by Medicare's prospective payment system may also have reduced the growth in costs for all payers, including employers. The new data also show that, between 1975 and 1983, employer contributions as a percent of GNP were higher than previously estimated.


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