National health care costs continue to increase for both plan sponsors and their employees

Published on December 10, 2012 at 10:44 AM · No Comments

HORAN, a leading advisor in employee benefits and financial services, announces national health care costs continue to increase for both plan sponsors and their employees, according to the 2012 Health Plan Survey conducted by its national partner, United Benefit Advisors (UBA), the nation's largest independent benefits advisory organization. 

The 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey provides the best source of data for area employers to benchmark their health plan based upon plan type, region, state, number of employees and industry category.

As the only UBA firm in our region, HORAN has exclusive access to the survey data and can provide employers with a free, local benefits benchmarking report allowing access to more granular and accurate data.

"As health care plan offerings and the federal regulatory environment become more complex, benchmarking data such as the 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey have become increasingly critical for employers looking to manage their health care benefit programs effectively," says Valerie Bogdan-Powers, HORAN Vice President of Group Operations. "Providing an attractive, competitive and cost-effective health plan is criti­cally important to local employers. In order to provide such a plan, understanding how your health plan compares to other like companies is crucial."

One noticeable trend from this year's survey is a decline in the percentage of plans offered for consumer driven health plans (CDHPs) in the United States for the first time since 2007. CDHPs growth stagnation is a critical pattern businesses should consider when making health plan purchasing decisions.

Other notable trends include:

  • UBA's national member firms clients' average renewal for all plan types increased by 5 percent – Ohio plans increased by 7.5 percent
  • The national average monthly employee contribution to plans with contributions for all plan types is $126 for single and $494 for family – in Ohio, the cost is $115 for single and $327 for family.
  • The average employer contribution to a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) was down from 2011 for a single employee and up for a family. Employer health savings account (HSA) contributions continue to decline. In Ohio, the annual employer HRA or HSA contribution for single was below the national average at $1,102 compared to $1,361.
  • 18.7 percent of Ohio employers offered a company sponsored wellness program, compared to 17.7 percent nationally.
  • As a direct result of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) changes, 91.7 percent of all plans now offer an unlimited lifetime maximum benefit compared with 81.3 percent in 2011 and just 16.1 percent in 2010.
  • Less than half (48.0 percent) of all covered employees also elected to cover their dependents, a decline of 1.9 percent.

With responses from 17,905 health plans sponsored by 11,711 employers nationwide, the 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey is the nation's largest and most comprehensive survey of plan design and plan cost benchmarks.

This unparal­leled number of reported plans studied is 2.9 times larger than the next two of the nation's largest health plan benchmarking surveys combined. The resulting volume of data provides employers of all sizes (other surveys primarily target large employers) more detailed — and therefore more meaningful — benchmarks and trends than any other source to manage health care benefit programs.

"The intent of the survey is to provide employers of all sizes with the data they need to determine which types of plans are most popular in their area and those being phased out, average employee costs and participation, how their plans compare against competitors' plans, relevant information to negotiate their rates and communicate plan advantages to their employees," said Bogdan-Powers.

HORAN has a multi-disciplinary team dedicated to advising employers on all aspects of health benefits. The 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey as well as additional publications, compliance alerts, webinars and seminars will continue to be provided to give further guidance to clients as a part of HORAN's commitment to educate on best practice benefits strategies to support business objectives.

SOURCE HORAN




 

Posted in: Healthcare News

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