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Evidence Mounting: 2011 Will be a Messy Year for Both Employers & Employees

Survey results released over the past 2 weeks clearly indicate that employers of all sizes will be asking their employees to share in healthcare cost increases expected in 2011.For example:

Large Employers: The National Business Group on Health's survey of 72 large employers found employers expect an average trend increase of 8.9% in 2011. 63% will increase employee percentage contribution to premium cost, 46% will increase out-of-pocket max, and 44% will increase in-network deductibles.61% will offer a Consumer Directed Health Plan, with 20% of those offering it as a "full" replacement. Click here for a copy of the survey results.

Small Employers: The Memphis Business Journal reports that small employers in the Memphis market are raising co-pays, deductibles and using more consumer driven health care programs. An area broker estimates that employers now cover 50-75% of the premium cost, when historically they may have covered 100%. Click here to read the Memphis Business Journal article.

Both large and small employers are estimating that health reform will significantly change how they offer health benefits.

Large employers: 53% are moving ahead with planned changes for 2011 while 19% will make some changes but are scaling back due to the uncertainty of reform. Many large employers are willing to lose their plans "Grandfather" status and rate the flexibility of making plan design changes more favorably than retaining "Grandfather" status.Click here for an article releasing these survey results.

Small employers: Memphis area brokers predict that employers with 50 or fewer employees are being hit the worst and that many small employers will just terminate their plans "in order to survive". Many small employers are just waiting to see what the carriers do next year re: rate increases before deciding how to move forward.

Bottom line, it looks like 2011 will be messy for employers and their employees. That is why it is imperative that employers work collectively through MBGH to push the health care delivery system to become more efficient and to use health care dollars to produce real value for both their patients and for the employers investing so much in health benefits.If we are not successful in working the estimated 30% of the waste out of the delivery system, we will not be able to afford health care moving forward.

Employers need to move to health benefit models that increase the likelihood of decreasing waste through active employee engagement in their benefits and in healthcare delivery system payment models that reward efficiency and penalize waste. MBGH helps our members build the strategy that will work for them to improve both the cost & quality of their health plans. Clearly health reform is making that strategy even more important!

Posted by Cristie Travis at 4:46 PM

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