Majority Of Benefit Decisionmakers Believe Cost Of Health Care Will Rise Due To Health Reform

The majority (60 percent) of senior level benefit decisionmakers believe that the cost of health care will rise as a direct result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to recent research from PlanSource. The Private Healthcare Exchange Survey also found that only 2 percent of decisionmakers have chosen a private exchange for their employees, with another 2 percent opting for a public health care exchange.

Twenty-two percent of those surveyed have considered a private exchange but have chosen to not implement one. Eight percent of respondents were undecided, while 6 percent are interested in speaking to a carrier or broker about setting up an exchange.

The key challenges, besides cost, that employers identified with providing benefits to employees included:

  • Educating employees on benefit choices: 65 percent;
  • Internal resource challenges in managing both employee issues and managing benefit providers: 33 percent;
  • Getting information to employees on available insurance resources: 30 percent;
  • Internal technology challenges: 26 percent;
  • Finding/managing benefit plans beyond just medical, dental, vision, and basic life insurance plans: 18 percent; and
  • None: 18 percent.

When asked what private exchanges should offer employees, 79 percent of respondents felt the top priority was to offer competitive health care choices for their employees. Other responses included:

  • Make choosing insurance plans easier and quicker: 66 percent;
  • Help them make better selections on insurance plans: 65 percent;
  • Offer more competitive choices: 47 percent;
  • Provide an online shopping experience for benefits like Amazon: 43 percent; and
  • Offer a wider range of benefit choices, beyond just medical, dental, and vision: 43 percent.

Respondents were split on how the growth of private health care exchanges will impact the role of insurance brokers in the benefits planning, choice, and management process. A full 29 percent felt private exchanges would decrease the importance of brokers, while 26 percent felt the opposite. More than 32 percent said they were not sure of the effect.

The survey contains responses from 266 industry professionals. For more information, visit http://www.plansource.com/blog/obamacare-survey.

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