Group Benefits Surveys

What are top-performing companies doing – or not doing – to achieve lower-than-average cost increases in employee health benefits? How does Michigan compare to national benchmarks? How are Michigan employers responding and adapting to Health Care Reform? Answers to these questions, data for decision-making, and more are gathered in the annual McGraw Wentworth Mid-Market Group Benefit Survey.

Why an annual survey?

  • Michigan is a unique environment when it comes to benefit plans – national data does not always reflect the trends in this region.
  • National data is typically a year out of date when it is released.
  • Employers can use survey data to determine where they are at in terms of the market.
  • Timing is important — our survey is released just before most organizations start planning for the following year.
  • McGraw Wentworth has the flexibility to ask about the issues that are important to Michigan employers.
  • What is benchmarked?

  • The usage trend and cost impact of health care benefit strategies, such as CDHPs, Wellness programs, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), spousal surcharges, and telemedicine.
  • Identify whether employers modified or plan to modify workforce strategies due to the “play or pay” employer penalty, implementation of which was delayed to 2015.
  • TrendBendersTM – high-performing trend-setting organizations that have successfully kept average cost increases low over the past two years – are identified and their plan design strategies shared.

  • McGraw Wentworth 2014 Survey

Data gathering for the 2014 Southeast Michigan Mid-Market Group Benefits Survey begins in January and concludes April 4, 2014.
To learn more about and to participate in this landmark survey, please contact Mitsy Morris at (248)822-6240, Claudia Cartwright at (248)822-6261 or Linda Vance at (248)822-6273.

Some of the 2013 Survey results:

  • Employer health care costs after plan changes increased by an average of 4% for employers in the survey, down from 6% in 2012.  This is also the lowest increase recorded by the survey since its introduction in 2004.
  • More local employers are using spousal eligibility limitations to manage costs.  59% of employees elect dependent coverage for spouse and/or children.  Compared to 12% nationally, 30% of Michigan employers require a surcharge or exclude spouses who are eligible for coverage from other sources.
  • Tobacco use remains a target for cost management.  11% of southeast Michigan employers  charge a tobacco surcharge at an average of $46 per month.
  • The primary reason given for continuing to offer employer-sponsored insurance is retention and recruiting.  Discontinuing benefits would also be contrary to most employers’ corporate culture.

Media Contact

Ryan Bowers, 248-822-6231,

To participate in the Survey in 2013

Southeast Michigan organizations contact: Claudia Cartwright (248-822-6261, or Mitsy Morris (248-822-6240,

K-12 Public Schools contact: Linda Vance (248-822-6273,

Municipalities/Local Government contact: Mitsy Morris (248-822-6240,

Further information may be found in: