Skip to main content

Will Employers Eliminate Health Coverage In 2014?

'Yes' says the smart money.   From AIS's Health Reform Week;
"Health insurance reform mandates already in effect are having a major cost impact on midsized employers across the U.S., according to a new actuarial modeling analysis by Lockton Benefit Group. On average, employers with 2,000 to 10,000 employees tacked another 2.5% onto their health insurance costs since mandates went into effect last September — primarily due to reform requirements extending dependent coverage to age 26 and eliminating lifetime and raising annual coverage limits, the firm says. Moreover, costs related to these mandates are just the tip of the iceberg — to the point where many employers could consider termination of their plans in 2014."


"Employers deciding to eliminate health plan coverage in 2014 will save an average of about 44% off their current health care spending, according to Lockton’s actuarial modeling. Thus, an employer spending $10 million today would spend $4.4 million to jettison its plan and pay the relatively smaller financial penalty, Fensholt explains. He notes that the employer doesn’t save the entire $10 million because of the penalty, which is nondeductible, as well as the lost tax deduction on its current spending, and lost Social Security tax savings on employee pretax premium contributions.

Two Views Of the Future Of Employer Sponsored Coverage.  Booz&Co calls the demise of employer-sponsored coverage "greatly exaggerated."  They're wrong.

What would happen if employers walked away from health coverage? Kaiser Health News calls it "..a bailout of epic proportions."  I'll take that bet.


Popular posts from this blog

Becoming Consumer Friendly In Five Easy Steps...Or Not

An article at offers hospitals 5 steps to becoming more consumer friendly.

If you still think there's a secret sauce to your hospital becoming more "consumer friendly," these 5 steps are as good a place to start as any.  Unfortunately, it's a little like that old Steve Martin comedy bit where he says he'll teach you how to be rich. The first step is to go find a million dollars.

Step 1 from the article is realizing that "...a Medicare beneficiary with chronic conditions is different from a young mom who brings her kids in for an annual check-up." This is market segmentation for beginners, and, yes, one size decidedly does not fit all. I'm sure your marketing team's been saying this for a while.

Steps 2-5: have a strategy, metrics, a champion and resources. OK. Hard to argue with any of those.

But those things, alone or together, won't overcome culture. They're important components to be sure, but insufficient without a …

My Take On Anthem-Cigna, Big Dumb Companies and the Executives Who Run Them

After last Friday's Appeals Court decision, Anthem's hostile takeover of, er, merger with Cigna has but a faint pulse. Good. Unplug the respirator. Cigna's figured it out but Anthem is like that late-late horror show where the corpse refuses to die. Meanwhile, 150 McKinsey consultants are on standby for post-merger "integration" support. I guess "no deal, no paycheck..." is powerfully motivating to keep the patient alive a while longer.

In court, Anthem argued that assembling a $54 billion behemoth is a necessary precondition to sparking all manner of wondrous innovations and delivering $2.4 billion in efficiencies. The basic argument appears to be "We need to double in size to grow a brain. And just imagine all those savings translating directly into lower premiums for employers and consumers." 

Stop. Read that paragraph again. Ignore the dubious "lower premiums" argument and focus on the deal's savings.

$2.4 billion saved from a p…

Another Day, Another App, Another Satisfied Customer

How might health care providers use technology to turn customers' mobile phones into information displays and ordering devices? A few years ago, the NY Times outlined how retailers are doing it...
"(Designer Norma) Kamali is at the forefront of a technological transformation coming to many of the nation’s retailers. They are determined to strengthen the link between their physical stores and the Web, and to use technology to make shopping easier for consumers and more lucrative for themselves.

Cisco Systems, the supplier of networking equipment and services for the Internet, is also a leader in the field. The company’s Mobile Concierge system is capable of connecting customers’ smartphones to retailers’ wireless networks — so a shopper could type “Cheez Whiz” into a cellphone, then pinpoint its location in the store." Ms. Kamali's boutique installed a technology called ScanLife, "allowing people to scan bar codes on merchandise and obtain details about the…