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Small Business Employee Benefits and HR Blog

Study - Trends in Healthcare Benefits and Defined Contribution Plans (DCPs)

December 16, 2013
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Healthcare reform is prompting employers to look at Defined Contribution Plans (DCPs) and health insurance exchanges. A recent study by Healthcare Trends Institute found that 59% of respondents were somewhat to very familiar with Defined Contribution Plans (DCPs), with a majority (73%) of those interested in DCPs considering it by the end of 2015. pulse_on_healthcare

These are a few of the key findings from Healthcare Trends Institute's national survey that polled 300+ human resources executives, benefit specialists, and other benefit decision-makers from across the country.

The study provides a benchmark of the current state of employee healthcare benefits, as well as the expected healthcare benefits outlook in response to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

Here's a summary of the study's key findings.

Snapshot of Healthcare Benefits in 2013

Of those polled, 95.2% offered health insurance with the majority of the health benefits offered by respondents’ companies including employee+ dependents (80.8%), PPO (70.8%), prescription drug (66.8%), and mental health (45.6%)

The majority of respondents (64.8%) indicated health benefits offerings were very important for retaining and attracting employees. Other reasons included employee morale and satisfaction, improving employee health, and matching competition.

importance_of_health_benefits

(Note: In the graph above the dark blue is "very important," dark grey is "not important".)

Respondents indicated healthcare reform will impact their employee benefits packages by increasing employee cost-sharing (38.4%) and increasing premium contributions (33.6%).

ACA_impact_health_benefits

Snapshot of Defined Contribution Plans (DCPs)

The majority of respondents (59.4%) indicated they were somewhat to very familiar with Defined Contribution Plans (DCPs) as they relate to health benefits. The top two perceived benefits? They help employees make more cost-conscious benefit decisions and lead to better understanding of benefit cost.

DCP_benefits

Of the respondents who indicated they were interested in DCPs for the future, 55.8% reported they were considering for 2015 followed by 26.9% in 2016, and 17.3% indicated considering DCPs before the end of 2014.

Snapshot of Private Exchanges

The survey also asked about familiarity with private exchanges.
  • 62.1% of respondents are somewhat to very familiar with public exchanges and 55.5% somewhat to very familiar with private exchanges.

  • Of the respondents indicating they were somewhat to very familiar with exchanges, more than half (51.3%) indicated they believed exchanges will help employees make more cost-conscious benefit decisions as well as offer a wider array of options for benefit plans.

Source: Healthcare Trends Institute - Click here to read full study.

What strategies are you implementing or considering for 2014, 2015, and 2016? Leave a comment below.

 

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