United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Employers and Employees Teeter on Healthcare Cost and Coverage Tightrope

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Nov 21, 2016 12:08:52 PM

Over the past few years, we have seen the cost of health care steadily increase – a trend supported by the latest data from the 2016 UBA Health Plan Survey. During the recession, employers implemented health plans with higher copays, higher deductibles, or offered multiple plans with a variety of deductibles and pushed the cost of the lower deductible plans onto employees in an attempt to keep their costs for offering coverage at the same rate or less.

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Topics: health care cost, benefits cost control, group medical benefits, consumer-driven health plan, UBA Health Plan Survey, Elizabeth Kay

The Key to Reducing Health Care Costs – Have We Found It?

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    May 19, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Self-funding is a very hot topic these days for a number of reasons. For small group employers offering a self-funded plan this means they can charge a composite premium rate based on the employee population versus the community rates that are based on each individual enrollee’s age. For all employer sizes this also means that they are not subject to all of the taxes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which alone can translate into a savings of 3% to 4% of their premiums.

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Topics: wellness, health care costs, self-funding, self funded health plans, consumer-driven health plan, Elizabeth Kay, Cigna Collaborative Care Program, claims data

Region Matters When It Comes to HSA Funding, CDHP Adoption

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 30, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Region Matters When It Comes to HSA Funding, CDHP AdoptionWe’ve already discussed Health Savings Account (HSA) activity at length, looking first at the correlation between generous HSA contributions and increased enrollment in consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs). Second, we looked at how HSAs have performed in recent years across different industries. Now, we’ll look closer at HSA activity across different regions of the country, based on the results of the 2014 UBA Health Plan Survey.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, CDHPs, health savings accounts, HSA, consumer-driven health plan, HSA funding, Kaminsky & Associates, LHD Benefit Advisors, UBA Health Plan Survey, Mark Sherman, Brian M. Goff, Andrea Kinkade

Industry Differences Among Health Savings Accounts

Posted by: Bill Olson    Apr 16, 2015 12:00:00 PM

While recent survey data shows that, on average, employers are decreasing the amount they’re willing to contribute to employee Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), there are some industries that have not seen such trends.

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Topics: health savings accounts, HSA, consumer-driven health plan, 2014 Health Plan Survey, HSA funding

PPACA’s Impact on How CDHPs and HSAs Work Together

Posted by: Bill Olson    Mar 31, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Employer health savings account (HSA) funding strategies have changed in recent years in response to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) and its impact on employer-sponsored health insurance plans. Employers are contributing less, on average, to HSAs and the increase in popularity of cost-saving consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) has also had a major impact on how employers use these accounts.

In 2014, employees saw a 10 percent decrease in their average single HSA employer contribution from the previous year, from $574 in 2013 to $515 in 2014, according to new data released from the 2014 UBA Health Plan Survey, the largest health benefits survey in the nation. Average family contributions also decreased 7 percent during the same period, from $958 to $890.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, CDHPs, PPACA Affordable Care Act, health savings account, HSA, consumer-driven health plan, 2014 Health Plan Survey, HSA funding

Are You Benchmarking Your Health Plan Correctly?

Posted by: Bill Olson    Jan 6, 2015 12:40:00 PM

Many employers benchmark their health plans against other employers with the same carrier or using nationally available data. But the benchmarking best practice is to compare your plan with others based on plan type, region, employee size, and industry. Without this more granular data, you could be missing key data on exactly how your plan stacks up against your competitors’ plans—and opportunities to more effectively negotiate rates and communicate the value of your benefits to your employees.

Consider a design firm in Georgia that offers a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP). Their premium cost for single coverage is $409 per month.

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Topics: health plan benchmarking, CDHPs, Executive Summary, consumer-driven health plan