By Clive Riddle, September 6, 2013
The National Business Group on Health recently released findings from their annual benefits survey addressing plan design and cost issues for 2014. What did they conclude after getting results from 108 large employer organizations? The cost of providing health benefits will rise 7% (third consecutive year projected at that rate); employers continue to further embrace consumer driven plans; and there is potential interest in exchanges – particularly private exchanges.
Regarding consumer driven care:
- 36% of respondents said consumer driven plans were the most effective tactic to control rising costs
- 72% offer at least one CDHP
- 22% planning to implement a total replacement CDHP next year, up from 19% this year
Meanwhile, NBGH President Helen Darling tells us “Private exchanges are another option some employers are considering. In the last year, there has been an increase in the number of private exchanges that are being launched. And while some employers are considering private exchanges for active employees sometime in the future, very few (3%) are considering eliminating health care coverage entirely,” said Darling.
41% responded that COBRA participants might find public exchanges to be the most cost effective option. 26% felt some pre-65 retirees might opt to join exchanges, while 20% believe that some part-time employees will do so.
The survey also covered these topics:
- 44% currently have an on-site clinic in at least one of their locations, with 9% are expecting to build a clinic next year
- 66% will cover surgical interventions for the treatment of severe obesity in 2014
- 36% will cover FDA-approved medications and intensive, multi-component behavioral interventions for participants with a BMI of more than 30
- 89% offer a tobacco cessation program
- 77% offer telephonic or on-site health coaching
- 55% offer on-site weight management programs
- 88% conduct health assessments
- 83% do biometric screenings