Employers Looking for Alternate Health Coverage Offerings

June 20, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - Employers are preparing to pursue alternate methods of offering healthcare options to their employees, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2012 Employer Health Plan Study.

The study finds that 47% of employers say they “definitely will” or “probably will” switch to a defined contribution (DC) model within a private exchange, allowing employees to select the coverage that best fits their needs, while also potentially helping the employer save on costs. Some employers cited the use of vouchers to help employees purchase health care as another alternate method of providing coverage.  

Despite uncertainty regarding future costs and methods of covering healthcare, only 13% of fully insured employers and 14% of self-funded employers say  they “definitely will not” or “probably will not” continue to sponsor employee coverage at all. 

Cost is still a primary concern for both employers and employees, and has a greater impact on choosing a health plan than on the actual service experience. The perceived reasons for high health care costs vary among employers and employees. Employers view fees charged by doctors and hospitals as the top reason for high health care costs, while employees most frequently view health insurance companies’ marketing or administrative costs as the primary reason for high costs.  

The 2012 Employer Health Plan Study is based on responses from 6,579 employers, with quotas to assure an adequate distribution of small, medium and large companies. The study was fielded between April and May.  

More information can be found here.