In 2008, PriceWaterhouseCoopers' research team surveyed senior executives at more than 100 large US-based multinational companies and more than 250 privately held small companies. The large companies each have an average of 8,000 employees and revenue of about $3 billion. The small employers each have a workforce of about 200 and less than $50 million in revenue. In addition, PwC surveyed more than 500 human resources executives separately on benefit plan design issues. This white paper discusses the results of this survey.
In the United States, employers have had an 80-year relationship with health insurers, and it’s been a long learning curve for both. In 2008, the relationship is entering one of its most challenging eras. Health benefit costs are outstripping wage growth, and some policy leaders are questioning the wisdom of the employer-based model itself. About 160 million workers and their dependents, or two-thirds of the non-elderly population, depend on their employers for health benefits.1 Studies show that most of them are satisfied with their coverage and that many employers want to continue providing health benefits. However, employers’ expectations of their health insurers are changing. While many studies examine the relationship between employees and their employer-sponsored benefits, less is known about employers and what they want from insurance carriers.
PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Health Research Institute analyzed the needs, wants, and satisfaction levels of employers regarding health insurance and benefits so as to identify and understand emerging themes from an employer’s perspective. What Employers Want from Health Insurers—now provides an inside look at how employers view employee benefit service offerings, emerging trends, and strategic priorities. The report also makes recommendations regarding how insurers can better deliver services to their clients.
KHN: What if there were a way for even small employers to escape some Affordable Care Act rules blamed for driving up costs? Some see self-insurance for medical care, which is exempt from the law’s taxes, benefit rules and price restrictions taking effect next year, as just such an opportunity.
Jan./Feb. HealthCare Consumerism Solutions: Dan Elliott of Relph Benefit Advisors (RBA) of Upstate New York offers clients onsite motivational/educational group employee meetings during benefits selection periods to explain health plan options and help employees become healthier, more productive & less costly.
The federal agencies implementing 2010's federal health reform law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), continue to turn the crank on guidance related to implementation of the health reform law, including the interaction of federal subsides for health insurance exchange-based coverage and the employer "play or pay" mandate.
The more employers I talk with, the more I hear the challenge of finding the right balance between encouraging and supporting employees to make healthy lifestyle choices and getting too much into “their business.”
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