The rising cost of healthcare is a major concern and a significant cost for manufacturers. Yet the sector is the leader among private sector employers with regard to the share of companies offering health benefits to workers. The weighted average “offer rate” for other industry groups is 57 percent, below the 72 percent of all manufacturers.

All large manufacturing companies with 5,000 or more employees provide retiree health benefits; data from the Kaiser Family Foundation suggest that the share is nearly as high for companies with as few as 200 employees. In addition, more than 60 percent of manufacturers offer wellness programs such as smoking cessation plans and on-site exercise facilities or gym memberships.

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