Health Care Costs Account for Nearly 10% of School District Budgets,
Almost $900 Per Student, ASBO Survey Reveals
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The results of a recent ASBO survey of more than 800 school business officials show that the rising cost of health care remains the biggest concern they face in their jobs, continuing a trend that has existed since at least 2003 when ASBO first started asking the question.
The ASBO International Strategic Issue survey on the rising cost of health care was conducted July 7-22, 2005, with notifications e-mailed to more than 4,500 ASBO members. The results represent the 867 members who responded. Click here for the complete survey results.
Among survey respondents, staff health care and related services such as vision, dental, and prescription drug coverage cost districts an average of $895 per student, or an average of 9.5 percent of total district expenditures.
Although 59 percent had made adjustments to their benefits plans in order to reduce costs, respondents indicated that health care premium costs had increased by an average of 9.7 percent. According to the survey, these costs severely outpacing district revenue, which grew by an average of only 2.3 percent.
How are districts paying for the increased
Sixty-eight percent of the school business officials responding to the survey agreed "the rising cost of health care has negatively affected the ability of [their] district to provide academic services to students." See the chart below.
When asked about areas of the budget that have had to be reduced, respondents indicated that school facility maintenance, teaching positions, professional development, and technology were the areas of the budget that had suffered the most.
What are the solutions?
Asked about ways to control the cost of health care, nearly 70 percent of respondents cited shifting those costs to employees through higher deductibles and co-pays as the most promising solution. Majorities of the respondents also identified district wellness plans
(53 percent) and educating employees about their benefits (51 percent) as potential cost-controlling measures.
Browse the complete survey results here:
Click here to find the official ASBO Press Release, including additional charts.
Compare this year's results with those from ASBO's 2004 survey on health insurance costs.
Consider this statement:
"The rising cost of health care has negatively affected the
of my district to provide academic services to students."