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Benefits Research & Surveys

Self-Insured Health Plans: State Variation and Recent Trends by Firm Size, 1996–2013

A new EBRI analysis finds a growing percentage of workers in self-insured health plans nationwide. In 2013, 58.2 percent of workers with health coverage were in self-insured plans, up from 40.9 percent in 1998  .However, the data show that this trend is being driven by large employers (with 1,000 or more workers), and not small employers (those with fewer than 50 workers).

Utilization Patterns and Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Different Health Care Services Among American Retirees

Data reported in EBRI’s February 2015 Issue Brief finds that the recurring, more-predictable health costs in retirement tend to remain stable throughout retirement: Expenses such as doctor visits, dentist visits and usage of prescription drugs.  However, the non-recurring, less-predictable costs increase with age—overnight hospital stays, overnight nursing-home stays, outpatient surgery, home health-care and usage of special facilities.

2015 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report

A new report from Healthview Services suggests health care costs will consume a rising percentage of Social Security benefits for future retirees.  The 2015 Retirement Health Care Costs Data Report draws upon claims data from year-end 2014, the company’s actuary and physician-reviewed cost projection methodology and a wide range of additional data sources. Year-over-year comparisons are between year-end 2013 and year-end 2014 data sets.

EBRI Report on the 2014 Health Benefits Survey

The December 2014 issue of EBRI’s Notes discusses findings from the SHRM/EBRI 2014 Health Benefits Survey and how open enrollment might be affected by PPACA and the 2018 excise tax. The survey was conducted in February and March 2014 to better understand changes to health coverage in 2015.

2014 Inside Benefits Communication Survey

The 2014 Inside Benefits Communication Survey, a collaborative research effort from the National Business Coalition on Health and Benz Communications, is a national survey that explores how companies are making investments in benefits communications and the return on those efforts.  The survey’s data was collected from more than 300 high-level business professionals and provides greater insight into how companies are planning and implementing benefits communication.

Examining Private Exchanges in the Employer-Sponsored Insurance Market

This September 2014 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation identifies the different types of private exchanges and projects the potential size of the private exchange market, which the report says has the potential to reshape the employer-sponsored health insurance landscape in the coming years.  The report examines important implications, including the potential for cost stability to employers and more choice among health plans for consumers.

The Fidelity Investments Millennial Money Study: Facts, Figures and Findings

The results of Fidelity’s “Millennial Money Study”, conducted in April 2014, show many Millennials are fully engaged in their financial futures, and some of the results of its study challenge the common stereotypes about how this generation approaches planning for the future.

Towers Watson 2014 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey Report

Towers Watson’s 2014 Health Care Changes Ahead Survey yields insight into how companies are changing their health care strategies to comply with health care reform, combat escalating costs, avoid the business risks associated with the 2018 excise tax and improve employee engagement.

 2014 Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust Employer Health Benefits Survey

The 16th edition of the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) Employer Health Benefits Survey, released September 10, 2014, provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and employer opinions.  Among the findings, premium cost increases continued their more moderate trend of recent years (3% for family coverage and 2% for single coverage), while the proportion of companies offering healthcare coverage (55%) and percentage of employees who are covered (62%) remain stable from 2013.  The survey was conducted from January to May 2014 and included completed interviews with more than 2000 private employers.

EBRI Report on HSA Quality of Care

With an ever-growing number of workers covered by health savings account (HSA) plans, this September 2014 Issue Brief from EBRI examines how HSA health plans—compared with traditional managed care plans—do in terms of health care quality.  The results of the study were based on data collected over a 5-year period from a single large employer in the Midwest with an HSA-eligible health plan for all employees.

Eighth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond

Findings from Prudential Insurance’s 8th Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond show that  employers are taking a multichannel approach to meet the needs and preferences of their employees.   Some of the more traditional methods are still reporting in the top five, but there has also been a jump in employers reporting great success with newer communication vehicles.   The survey was conducted online  in August, 2013, and included three distinct groups:  employers, employees and benefits consultants and brokers.

Satisfaction with Health Coverage and Care Among Enrollees in CDHP, HDHP and Traditional Health Plans

This August 2014 issue of EBRI’s Notes looks at satisfaction with various aspects of healthcare based on the type of plan in which respondents were enrolled:  CDHP, HDHP and traditional.  Conclusions are based on findings from the 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey.  (A link to the full report can be found elsewhere in the “Benefits Research & Surveys” section of this Resource Center.)  According to the report, overall satisfaction is highest among those with traditional healthcare coverage and lowest among those with a HDHP. The report also notes that the overall satisfaction rates are trending downwards on traditional plans while the trajectory is up for CDHC and HDHP plans.

2014 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey Report

This report, published in June 2014 from Arthur J. Gallagher & Co., provides an interesting look at data collected from 1,833 organizations across the country when they were surveyed about their current and future employee benefits strategies.

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2013

This July 2014 report based on survey conducted by the Federal Reserve Board in September 2013 captures a snapshot of the financial and economic well-being of U.S. households. The survey also examined the issues they face, their recovery from the Great Recession and perceived risks to their financial stability.

HSA Savings: Potential Accumulations

A July 2014 analysis in EBRI’s Notes shows that a person contributing for 40 years to an HSA could save up to $360,000 if the rate of return was 2.5 percent, $600,000 if the rate of return was 5 percent, and nearly $1.1 million if the rate of return was 7.5 percent, and if there were no withdrawals.

EBRI Research Shows Increased Participation in the Labor Force by Workers Age 55 and Older

The April 2014 issue of EBRI’s Notes discusses  the increase of workers age 55 and older in the workforce and poses the question of whether these older workers are filling the void left by fewer younger workers who did not enter the workforce or whether older workers are preventing younger people from participating in the labor force.

2014 ADP Annual Health Benefits Report

ADP released its second annual Health Benefits Report. Subtitled “2014 Benchmark and Trends for Large Employers,” the report is based on ADP’s analysis of its own client base and tracks premium, eligibility and participation rates from 2010 to 2014.  Among its findings: participation has consistently been higher among older workers than among younger. The report also notes that between 2010 and 2014, premiums increased 15% but rose only 1.7% between 2013 and 2014.

EBRI Report on Contributions to HRAs and HSAs, 2006-2013

This report published in the February 2014 issue of EBRI Notes looks at the level of employer-employee contributions to HRAs and HSAs between 2006 and 2013. Based on its 2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey, this report shows that the percentage of employers who contribute to these plans has increased and that employees with family coverage contributed to the accounts at a steady level while contributions by those with single coverage fell.

2013 EBRI/Greenwald & Associates Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey

This Dec. 2013 Issue Brief from EBRI presents findings from its Consumer Engagement in Health Care Survey (CEHCS) done in conjunction with Greenwald & Associates. The CEHCS was an online survey of 3,853 privately insured adults ages 21−64 designed to provide nationally representative data regarding trends in account-based health plans and high-deductible health plans
(HDHPs).

EBRI: Workers Satisfied with Their Own Health Plans, Less Enthusiastic About the Healthcare System

A September 2013 EBRI Notes article based on the 2013 Health & Voluntary Workplace Benefits Survey that it conducts with Greenwald & Associates shows a divergence in opinion among workers when it comes to satisfaction with their own health plans and the healthcare system in general. According to the survey, nearly 90% of workers are satisfied with their plans, but more than half (55%) give low ratings to the healthcare system.

Healthcare Cost Variations – A Comparison of 24 U.S. Urban Areas

This August 2013 study by the Benefits Services Group and HCTrends examined the cost-per-episode of providing care in 22 different medical practice areas across 24 urban areas in the United States and also looked at the efficacy of treatment. The differences among the cities highlight how difficult it is to make generalizations about costs and effectiveness of medical treatment.

2013/2014 Towers Watson NGBH Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care

The 18th annual Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care, a survey by Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health, examines how “best performing” companies in the study, those with average trend of 2.2%, have managed to contain costs for themselves and their employees.

Views on Employment-Based Health Benefits After ACA

This December 2012 article by EBRI’s Dr. Paul Fronstin uses data from the 2012 Health Confidence Survey to examine the impact the Affordable Care Act will have on the future of employer-sponsored healthcare benefits.

Employment-Based Health Benefits and Taxation in an Era of Deficit Reduction

This July 2011 Issue Brief from EBRI looks at how elimination of favorable tax treatment of workers’ employer-provided health benefits would affect the current system and the U.S. budget deficit. Currently, employer-provided health benefits are the largest tax expenditure in the U. S. budget, dwarfing the home mortgage interest deduction.

2011 Milliman Medical Index

The annual Milliman Medical Index (MMI) measures the total cost of healthcare for a typical family of four covered by a preferred provider plan (PPO). The 2011 MMI shows that the cost more than doubled in nine years from $9,235 in 2002 to $19,393 in 2011.