UBA: Survey Shows Differences in Health Benefits Across U.S.

UBA 2013 Health Plan Survey Shows Major Differences in Health Benefits Across U.S. Regions

Survey Results Illustrate Value of Benchmarking for Competitive Advantage, Savings

Indianapolis, Ind., [Oct. 17, 2013] ⎯ Results from the United Benefit Advisors (UBA) 2013 Health Plan Survey, the nation’s largest health plan benchmarking survey, show drastic differences in employee health benefits cost and plan design across multiple regions of the United States. The size of UBA’s survey, with nearly 11,000 employers responding, allows employers to benchmark their plans based upon plan type, region, employee size and industry category, and gives them the best opportunity to see how their plan stacks up against competitors’ plans so they can better understand and communicate the value of their benefits to employees.

For example, when considering a mid-size firm in Atlanta, Ga. whose health plan cost for a single employee is $409, it is important to compare against regional benchmarks instead of national. When compared against the national average for all plans, their cost is $63 per month less; however, when compared with other CDHPs in the Southeast region, this employer’s cost is actually $26 per month more expensive than the average.

Further still, compare this employer’s cost to its closest peers using a state-specific benchmark, which in Georgia is $419, and it becomes clear this employer’s monthly single premium is actually $10 less than its competitors in the state.

“UBA clients saved, on average, 4.8 percent from their initial medical plan renewal offer in 2013, which translates to a staggering $820 million in annual medical plan cost savings,” says Thom Mangan, CEO of UBA. “Historically, benchmarking data of this kind were unavailable to small and midsize employers. Now, by using such detailed information, we are able to more accurately evaluate costs, and ultimately give employers of all sizes a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining a superior workforce.”

Key Trends By Region:

– Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans continue to be the dominant plan type offered to employees nationally, with approximately 47.2 percent of all employees enrolled in this plan type, which is 4.7 percent more than are enrolled in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) combined.
– CDHP plans are far more prevalent, however, in the Northeast where 28.8 percent of employees are enrolled in this plan type, compared to the Western region where only 15.1 percent of employees are in a CDHP and 29.9 percent are enrolled in an HMO.
– Total Annual Cost Per Employee varies greatly across the U.S. For example, in the Northeast, an employer’s total annual cost for a single employee is $10,808; in the Southeast it is $7,846.

Download a copy of the 2013 UBA Health Plan Survey Executive Summary at http://bit.ly/19S32xm or request a customized benchmarking report from a UBA Partner Firm at http://bit.ly/17u3M5T.

About the UBA Health Plan Survey
Data in the 2013 UBA Health Plan Survey are based on responses from 10,551 employers sponsoring 16,928 health plans nationwide. The 2013 UBA Health Plan Survey offers more than national data and recommends that employers benchmark with local data, which are more effective when adjusting plan design, negotiating rates and communicating value to employees. Contact a UBA Partner Firm for a customized benchmark survey based on industry, region and business size.

About United Benefit Advisors
United Benefit Advisors is the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization with more than 200 offices throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Visit www.UBAbenefits.com.

Carina Sammartino
csammartino (at) fishervista (dot) com
(650) 477-4839