The Los Angeles Times (8/14, Terhune) reports that on Wednesday, the National Business Group on Health released its annual survey, which shows that “large employers expect their healthcare costs to jump 5% next year, and nearly a third of businesses will offer only higher-deductible plans to workers.” The Times notes that when “asked what’s driving up medical spending, employers cited high-cost patients, specific diseases and an uptick in spending for specialty drugs,” while “only 7% said the cost of complying with the federal Affordable Care Act was a leading factor.”

Kaiser Health News (8/13, Hancock) reports that according to the survey, “16 percent of large employers…said they will offer in 2015 lower-benefit coverage along with at least one health plan that does qualify under ACA standards.” The piece notes that “the results weren’t unexpected by benefits pros, who realized last year that ACA regulations would allow skinny plans and even make them attractive for some employers,” although “the new survey gives one of the first looks at how many companies will follow through and offer them.”

Forbes (8/13) and the Congressional Quarterly (8/14, Subscription Publication) also report on the survey.

Jeffrey R. Ungvary President

Jeffrey R. Ungvary