The findings represent a 10% increase from last year’s survey of some 600 large plan sponsors.
Companies also said that increased liability would likely have a negative effect in the following areas:
- 81% – employer costs
- 80% – consumer costs
- 48% – medical management efforts
More than half (54%) support legislation that would allow an individual tax credit for the purchase of health insurance, 14% more than a year ago.
At present, just 22% are considering a defined contribution approach to health care, but more than half are looking at other “consumer-driven” options, including self-directed plan designs and multi-tier networks.
Employers moving toward a defined contribution model say they are doing so to:
- 85% – control program costs
- 70% – give control of health care decisions to employees
- 30% – limit lawsuit liability
- 23% – transfer health management activities to a third party.
While 84% currently choose/review health care providers via a paper RFP process, only 22% expect to still be doing so in three years. Over half (60%) expect to take advantage of Internet-enabled e-RFPs and automated negotiation analysis by 2004, and 28% plan to use Internet-enabled HMO auctions with real-time competitive bidding.
Respondents expect a 12% increase in costs across all plan types this year, and are bracing for a 20% hike in prescription drug costs.
While nearly two-thirds (63%) of companies believe that health care benefits are a basic employee benefit need, they still rank lower in importance than pay, work environment, and work opportunities.
Health plan improvements were seen as needed in:
- health data analysis and tracking (58%)
- Internet information access and plan site links (57%)
- medical management and disease management programs (43%)
- financial reporting and accounting (37%).