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A nationwide survey found a larger share of employers are offering health benefits to their employees than any time since 2013, suggesting companies nationally are heading in the opposite direction of employers in New Jersey.

Sixth Annual Transamerica Center for Health Studies Employers Survey found that 85 percent of employers offered health benefits to their full-time employees. Two years, NJBIA’s Health Benefits Survey showed 85 percent of member companies were offering health benefits, but in the 2018 survey, that number had dropped to 78 percent of employers.

“The increasing costs of healthcare present challenges in New Jersey businesses of all sizes, especially when factoring the cumulative costs brought on by other business mandates,” NJBIA President and CEO Michele Siekerka said about the association’s survey. “We’re proud to see our members taking whatever steps they can to provide a competitive benefit package that will help recruit and retain their employees given these challenges.”

Indeed, NJBIA’s survey showed companies were doing everything they can to keep health benefits going: 40 percent of the companies that offer coverage said they took a lower profit or suffered a loss in order to continue providing health benefits, compared to 33 percent in 2016. Another 27 percent froze or limited wage increases and 21 percent delayed or reduced business investments to maintain their coverage.