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Smart Benefits: New Healthcare Plan Survey—How’d RI Do?

Monday, September 10, 2012

 

United Benefit Advisor's 2012 Health Plan Survey reveals cost findings for the most recent year. How did RI's plans perform?

Despite the passage of reform efforts, healthcare costs will continue to increase for both plan sponsors and their employees, according to United Benefit Advisor’s (UBA’s) 2012 Heath Plan Survey, the nation’s largest health plan survey.

The survey, which focuses on small and mid-size firms with less than 1,000 employees, revealed that, in 2012, the average renewal for all plans increased by 5 percent versus 8.2% in 2011. And employers expect average renewals in 2013 in the 5-7% range.

National Findings

Other key results of the 2012 survey include:

  • PPO plans have nearly two-thirds of all enrolled employees (61.7 percent).

  • The average monthly employee contribution for plans with contributions for all plan types is $126 for single and $494 for family.

  • The average annual cost for all plan types is $9,929. The annual employer share is $6,135 versus $3,793 from employees.

  • 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 continued to decline.

  • Four-fifths of all wellness plans (81 percent) offered a health risk assessment.

  • As a direct result of 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.

 

RI Bucks Trends

In two areas of the survey, Rhode Island stood apart:

CDHPs

One notable trend in this year’s survey is that consumer driven health plans (CDHPs) – Health Savings Accounts and Health Reimbursement Arrangements – in the U.S. experienced a decline for the first time since 2007. In 2012, 22.5% of employers offered these plans versus 22.9% in 2011. But in Rhode Island, we’re seeing the opposite: 55.6% of employers offered CDHPs in 2012, up slightly from 54.7% in 2011.

Wellness

Another area where Rhode Island bucked trend is wellness adoption. Nationally, 17.7% of employers  offered comprehensive wellness programs in 2012 versus 15.6% in 2011. But in Rhode Island, 25.9% of employers offered programs in 2012, up from 23% in 2011. At least 50% of employers offering wellness include health risk assessments, biometric screenings, telephonic health coaching and participation incentives in their programs.

Amy Gallagher has over 19 years of healthcare industry experience. As Vice President at Cornerstone Group, she advises large employers on long-term cost-containment strategies, consumer-driven solutions and results-driven wellness programs. Amy speaks regularly on a variety of healthcare-related topics, is a member of local organizations like the Rhode Island Business Group on Health, HRM-RI, SHRM, WELCOA, and the Rhode Island Business Healthcare Advisory Council, and participates in the Lieutenant Governor’s Health Benefits Exchange work group of the Health Care Reform Commission.

For more health and business coverage, watch GoLocalTV, live every day at 4pm, and on demand 24/7, here.

 

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