Home > Surveys > NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey 2016/2017


One of the key features of the NC Wage & Salary Survey is projected base pay increases, as reported by NC employers. The projected base pay increase for 2016 is 2.7% (incl 0) or 3.1% (excl 0) for exempt employees and 2.6% (incl 0) or 2.9% (excl 0) for hourly employees. 14% of all employers plan to give no increase (0%) in 2016. Of the employers planning to give an actual increase in 2016, about 72% plan to give 3.0+% to exempt employees and about 68% plan to give the same to hourly employees.

A survey highlight of the NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey is health plan premium rates. For traditional plans, the average premium for individual coverage is $5,985 per year, of which employers cover 81%. The average family premium is $17,503 per year, of which employers cover 54%.

The NC Policies & Benefits Survey covers many topics, including 401k matching and vesting. Employers reported safe harbor match (32%), match based on formula (32%), and discretionary match (23%), while 14% of employers reported no match. The most common vesting schedule is 100% in equal increments over 6 years (24% of employers) followed by 100% in equal increments over 5 years (21%). About 27% of employers indicated cliff vesting 100% at year 1, 2, or 3.

NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey 2016/2017

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The NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey is conducted annually by CAI, with design assistance provided by Hill, Chesson & Woody (HCW). The Employers Association (TEA) of Charlotte and Western Carolina Industries (WCI) of Asheville, co-sponsored the 2016/2017 survey. This unique statewide survey provides employers the information that is most critical in managing their employee benefits plan, allowing for a comparison of plan designs, premium costs, and cost-sharing arrangements to other local organizations.  Data were collected from 654 employers throughout the state of North Carolina.

Various questions were asked of both traditional plans and CDHPs, including cost of health insurance and employee's portion (deduction), deductibles, out-of-pocket maximums, doctor's office visits, and inpatient hospital services, outpatient surgeries/procedures, and prescription drugs. Company contributions were also asked of employers with CDHPs.

The 2016/2017 report is divided into four parts: 1) traditional plan data including nonrollover Health Reimbursement Account (HRA) 2) consumer driven health plan (CDHP) data including Health Savings Account (HSA) / rollover HRA, 3) dental plan data, and 4) vision plan data. Tables provide averages (average cost, etc) and distribution of responses. All tables provide results at the summary level (all data). Where coverage allows, tables subsequently filter by number of eligible employees and industry (cuts defined below).

Number of Employees Eligible (up to 5 shown):

  • 49 employees or less
  • 50-99 employees
  • 100-499 employees
  • 500-999 employees
  • 1,000 employees or more

Collapsed Industry (up to 8 shown):

  • Goods Producing (non-mfg), Trade, Transportation & Warehousing
  • Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing
  • Durable Goods Manufacturing
  • Information & Financial Activities
  • Professional / Business Services
  • Education / Social Services & Public Administration
  • Health Services
  • Leisure, Hospitality & Other Services

The NC Healthcare Benefits & Cost Survey is a valuable resource in developing an employee benefits strategy that meets organizational objectives for recruiting, rewarding, and retaining employees. For additional assistance with developing or implementing benefits programs, please contact either CAI at 919.878.9222 or HCW at 919.403.1986.

To purchase a PDF version of the survey please click here.