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Survey Finds Employers Increasingly Moving Toward High Deductible Plans

New MBGH Survey Finds Employees Asking about Impact of Health Care Reform

Employers increasingly moving toward high deductible plans

CHICAGO, Sept. 9, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ninety percent of responding employers surveyed said they have received questions from employees asking how their benefits will be impacted by health care reform, according to the latest employer member survey conducted by the non-profit Midwest Business Group on Health (MBGH). The survey focused on the changes employers are making to their benefit programs such as offering more high deductible health plans and how they are educating their employees about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and health insurance marketplace (exchanges).

"Many self-insured employers didn't think they needed to pay much attention to health insurance exchanges since they offered coverage, but these findings clearly state the need for expanded employee education," said Larry Boress, MBGH president and CEO. "There are key questions employees have that need to be addressed now, such as the status of their current benefits and their eligibility to obtain tax credits and subsidies through the new marketplaces. Most employer efforts are focused in these areas for the upcoming rollouts this fall."

Key survey findings

•    About 90% of self-funded employers indicated that they don't plan to move any of their covered population to either public marketplaces or private exchanges in the immediate future. During this time, employers will review what peer businesses are doing and the success and viability of the exchanges.

•    Over the next four years, employers indicated they will offer more high deductible health plans and decrease the number of health maintenance organizations, point of service plans and preferred provider organization options. There is uncertainty about the number of employers planning to offer only high deductible health plans.

•    Over 70% of responding employers indicated they will not increase salaries for employees who obtain insurance coverage from the public marketplaces.

•    Almost 70% of employers are developing their own ACA messaging, with few relying solely on their health plan. The types of information being communicated include: open enrollment options, an overview of the ACA and its impact on benefit programs.

•    Responding employers have found that employees are most concerned about the impact of the ACA on their benefits (64%), if their out of pocket costs will go up (63%) and want to know about the exchanges (53%).

•    Key areas of focus for employers moving forward in complying with the ACA are: educating employees about ACA (71%), benefit design options to reduce exposure to excise tax (59%); and incentives for wellness provisions (49%).

Survey details

The online survey of employers' views on health reform was conducted in June and July 2013. There were more than 40 respondents from a variety of industries representing self-insured and fully-insured employers. The respondents ranged in size from very large employers (54% with more than 10,000 employees), to large (12% with 5,001 to 10,000), to mid-size (31% with 5,000-501) and small (3% with less than 500).

About the Midwest Business Group on Health

With more than 120 member organizations, the Midwest Business Group on Health is one of the nation's leading non-profit business groups of large, self-insured public and private employers. MBGH is an essential resource to support employers in effectively managing their health benefits through high-quality education, research, networking and benchmarking, as well as serving as catalyst for community initiatives to improve the quality, safety and cost-effectiveness of the health care delivery system. MBGH is a founding member of the National Business Coalition on Health.

SOURCE Midwest Business Group on Health

 CONTACT: Cary Conway, 972-731-9242,

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Posted: September 2013