Employees More Engaged During Benefits Selection Process In Health Exchange

When given choice and control, employees become more engaged and invested in selecting their health benefits, according to enrollment results from human resource solution provider Aon Hewitt’s private health care exchange. During the 2013 annual enrollment period last fall, more than 100,000 U.S. employees enrolled in health benefits through Aon Hewitt’s Corporate Health Exchange, which is a fully-insured corporate health exchange available to large employers. According to Aon Hewitt’s post-enrollment analysis, almost 80 percent of employees felt confident that they chose the health plan that offered the best value for them and their family, and 93 percent liked being able to choose among multiple carriers.

“When given more options, employees become empowered to make individual choices based on value, provider network, price and health status,” said Ken Sperling, national health exchange strategy leader at Aon Hewitt. “Employees like having control over such an important decision and appreciate not being limited to a pre-determined plan and insurance company.”

The Corporate Health Exchange provided employees with a range of health, dental, and vision benefits from multiple national and regional carriers, such as UnitedHealthcare, Kaiser Permanente, HealthNet, Health Care Service Corporation (operating Blue Cross Plans in IL, NM, OK and TX) and Florida Blue, Florida’s Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plan. During enrollment, employees could sort and filter benefits options by price, carrier, and/or plan type.

Plan type. Aon Hewitt’s enrollment data shows that 39 percent of employees enrolled in a consumer-driven health plan (CDHP), up from 12 percent in 2012. Conversely, the number of employees who enrolled in a preferred provider organization (PPO)-type plan decreased from 70 percent in 2012 to 47 percent in 2013. However, while a significant number of employees migrated toward CDHP, Aon Hewitt’s data revealed that when given the choice, a fair number of employees chose to increase their coverage. For 2013, 32 percent of employees chose a plan similar in type to their current coverage (e.g., PPO to PPO), while 26 percent of employees chose richer coverage. Forty-two percent of employees chose to reduce their regular payroll contributions and select a less rich form of coverage.

Decision-support. Use of Aon Hewitt’s online decision support tools, including health plan comparisons, cost estimators, and customized portal and guidance solutions, was significantly higher for employees who enrolled in their benefits through a corporate exchange model compared to the employees who completed a “traditional” enrollment with Aon Hewitt. Specifically, Aon Hewitt found that 68 percent of exchange enrollees used a health plan comparison tool, compared with just 48 percent of employees in Aon Hewitt’s normative database. In addition, 57 percent used the provider search tool, compared to only 14 percent usage in traditional plan enrollment

For more information, visit http://www.aonhewitt.com.

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