Posted by: Bill von Achen | April 16, 2010

Results from our 2010 Healthcare Insurance Survey

Over the past year, the issue of rising healthcare costs has been a significant part of the national debate about healthcare reform.  Yet, despite the widespread agreement on the need to control costs, healthcare insurance premiums are continuing to increase at unsustainable rates, with many of you telling me of proposed increases of 20-30% in your monthly insurance premiums. 

I believe that having information about where your healthcare insurance premiums stand relative to other employers is an important first step in determine how best to address this major business expense.  

So, I’d like to share with you some of the summary results of our recently completed 2010 survey on healthcare insurance plans at our client companies.  Our survey includes insurance premium data from businesses in Eastern Massachusetts, covering insurance carriers, premiums for both single and family coverage, and percentages of premiums paid by employees. 

Here are the highlights from the survey:

Provider Breakdown: 39% of responding companies use Blue Cross Blue Shield as their current health insurance carrier, with 35% using Tufts and 22% Harvard Pilgrim.

(Blue Cross Blue Shield continues to loose ground as the heath insurance carrier of choice.  This year, more than 80% of respondents listed BCBS as their previous (not current) carrier, and those respondents who switched carriers within the last two years cited efforts to control costs as the primary reason.)

Plan Types: 78% of all companies offer an HMO insurance plan, while 61% offer a PPO plan (some companies offer multiple plans).

Plan Options: 68% of responding companies offer their employees more than one choice of health insurance coverage (up from 56% in 2009, and just 18% in 2008).

Office Co-Pay Amounts: Plans at 61% of responding companies charge employees a $20 co-pay for office visits (unchanged from 2009); plans at 22% of companies charge $25 per office visit; and plans at 13% of companies charge $15 per office visit.

Annual Deductibles: 26% of respondents have annual per person deductibles of $1000 per person, and an additional 22% have $500 deductibles.  However, 46% of respondents indicate that they reimburse employees for at least a portion of their annual deductible payments.

Incentives to Obtain Insurance Elsewhere: 27% of respondents offer employees an incentive to secure health insurance coverage from another source (such as a spouse’s employer’s plan).

Monthly Premiums, Single Coverage: Monthly insurance premiums for single coverage now average more than $325, with 87% of responding companies quoting monthly premiums above this threshold (compared with 91% in 2009, and 88% in 2008).  78% of companies pay more than $350 per month, 39% pay more than $400 per month, and 17% pay more than $500 per month (compared with none in 2009 and 6% in 2008).

Monthly Premiums, Family Coverage: 96% of respondents report monthly insurance premiums for family coverage at or above $800 per month, and 74% of respondents pay $1000 or more per month for family premiums.  26% of responding companies pay between $1000 and $1099 per month for family premiums (the largest concentration of responses for this question).

Two Person ‘Families:’ 48% of responding companies report that they offer their employees coverage for 2 person families; monthly premiums vary widely for this coverage.

Employer Contributions, Single Coverage: 100% of responding companies contribute at least 50% of the premium cost for single coverage (the same as in 2009).  17% of responding companies contribute 90% or above (compared with 17% in 2009, and 12% in 2008), 17% of companies contributing between 80-89%, and 35% of companies contributing between 70-79% (the largest concentration of responses for this question).

Employer Contributions, Family Coverage: Companies continue to be less generous when it comes to contributing to the premium cost for family coverage.  However, 13% of companies contribute more than 89% of monthly family premiums (compared with 9% in 2009 and 0% in 2008), while 17% contribute between 80-89%, 30% between 70-79%, 26% between 60-69%, and 13% between 50-59%.  No responding companies contribute less than 50% of the premium cost for family coverage, compared with 13% in 2009.

Although our sample of companies for this survey is small (less than 50 companies contributed data to this year’s survey), I’d be interested in hearing how closely your company’s health insurance coverages track with the above results.  Thanks!


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