Hearsay & News Review
a survey of 434 employers by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit
Plans, 62% of respondents reported that they offer wellness programs such as
health education and screenings. Fifteen percent planned to add the programs and
23% did not. More than 80% reported an average participation of 50% or below.
Bushís State of the Union address seemed to endorse HSA expansion. A Mercer
study shows that HSA adoption has risen from 12% to 22% among businesses of more
than 20,000 employees. The study showed CDHP coverage average cost was $5,480
PEPY including employer contributions to accounts vs. normal PPO at $6,518 PEPY.
Life reports that 39% of employees surveyed were happy with their benefit plans,
up from 34% in 2004. Principal Financial reports that among firms with 10 to
1000 workers, health benefits are ranked as the number one benefit in the eyes
of the worker.
the area of no surprises, an EBRI survey showed that 63% of those who have
comprehensive health coverage are extremely or very satisfied with their health
plans. The number drops to 42% with consumer driven plans and 33% with high
deductible plans. The percentage of participants who reported delaying or
avoiding medical care because of cost was 17% with comprehensive plans, 35% with
CDHP and 31% with HDHP. The percentage who
were extremely or likely to stay in
their plan if given the opportunity to switch was 60% for Comprehensive, 46% for
CDHP and 30% for HDHP.
Segal expected trend report for 2006 is out. PPO/Rx trend was projected at
12.7%, POS at 12.2%, HMO at 12% and HDHP PPOs at 12.8%. Dental indemnity is 7%,
dental PPO at 6.3% and DMO at 5.2%.
the end of January, Congress passed a bill to increase the Pension Benefit
Guaranty Corp.ís annual premium from $19 to $30 per participant for single
employer plans retroactive to January 1st to help shore up the PBGC.
survey of benefits professionals still shows that the cost of benefits is at the
top of their list of concerns within their company. However,
recruiting and retention was at the top of the list of other concerns.
Eighty-two percent of respondents said they planned changes to their health and
welfare benefits in the coming year.
the federal governmentís HDHP with HSA, 43% of those enrolled made $75,000 or
more a year. Only 14% of new plan enrollees in general and 23% of federal
employees in other plans made the equivalent amount of money.
brainchild of the HR Policy Association, National Health Access had ten
employers participating and 909,000 eligible workers thought to be without
insurance. It turns out that most had coverage elsewhere, leaving a pool of
133,000 employees with no insurance. Only 5,726 employees signed up for the
plans offered by National Health Access. Of those, 4,000 were
representatives. Eighty percent of those signing up opted for limited medical
plans. So far, even with the hype when it was set up, National Health Access has
been the bust we expected.
is no longer offering DMO plans as of 4/1/06 in
for individual customers. PPO dental will be the only plan offered.
is selling its remaining stake in the Genworth Insurance Company.
the wake of
ís law requiring Wal-Mart to pay a certain percentage of payroll for health
benefits, approximately 29 other states have propositions for similar laws. In
the meantime, Wal-Mart has expanded their offerings to company employees and
offered new low cost plans with reduced eligibility waiting periods. Wal-Mart is
also contracting with outside firms to build and operate health clinics in their
stores for the general public on a nationwide basis. The company currently has a
total of 9 pilot clinics in four states. What is next? Reduced price MRIís in
aisle 8? Angiogram sales in aisle sixteen, next to the toasters?