Nation’s Largest Health Plan Survey Cites Key Trends in Employer Health Plans

WARWICK, RI – (September 10, 2012) Cornerstone Group, one of New England’s leading benefit advisory firms and a member firm of United Benefit Advisors, announced today the results of the 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey, the nation’s largest health plan survey. The results of this year’s annual survey, which represented 17,905 plans from 11,711 employers, reveal that, despite the passage of reform efforts, healthcare costs continued to increase for both plan sponsors and their employees. In 2012, UBA Member Firms clients’ average renewal for all plan types increased by 5 percent, with Rhode Island clients reporting an average 5.7 percent increase.

Other trends of note, both nationally and in Rhode Island, include:

-PPO plans have nearly two-thirds of all enrolled employees (61.7 percent). But in Rhode Island, that number is only 39.5 percent.

-Nationally, the average monthly employee contribution for plans with contributions for all plan types is $126 for single and $494 for family. In Rhode Island, those figures are $140 and $509 respectively.

-Last year, Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPs) in the U.S. experienced a decline for the first time since 2007, with just 22.5% of employers offering them. However, in Rhode Island, 55.6% of employers offered CDHPs this year, up from 2011.

-17.7% of employers nationwide offer comprehensive wellness programs. In Rhode Island, adoption stands at 25.9%.

-As a direct result of PPACA changes, 91.7 percent of all plans now offer an unlimited lifetime maximum benefit compared with 81.3 percent in 2011 and just 16.1 percent in 2010.

“We continue to see big differences in the Northeast in terms of premiums and plan offerings,” said Robert Calise, principal of Cornerstone Group. “Historically, benefits have been richer – and more costly – here than in other parts of the country. Early on, employers embraced creative ways to control costs, such as consumer driven health plans and wellness programs. This year’s survey results show that Rhode Island companies continue to recognize the value these approaches deliver by encouraging consumers to be more responsible in their healthcare decisions.”

With responses from 17,905 health plans sponsored by 11,711 employers nationwide, the 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey is the nation’s largest and most comprehensive survey of plan design and plan cost benchmarks. The UBA Health Plan Survey defines benchmarks by a greater number of specific industries, regions and employer size categories than is available from any other resource. The 2011 UBA Benefit Opinions Survey (which delineates employers’ positions and opinions on Health Care Strategy, Health Benefits Philosophy and Opinion, Health Plan Management, Personal Health Management, Employee Communication, and Scope of Benefits Offered) serves as a companion piece to the 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey.

Founded in 1993, the Cornerstone Group has forged a reputation as a leading benefits advisory firm, serving more than 1,500 employers nationwide. As its clients’ needs have changed over the years, Cornerstone has evolved to meet them with an expanding selection of services designed to address all aspects of employee management. From benefits advisory, payroll services and human resource consulting, to compliance advice and retirement solutions, Cornerstone’s rapid but measured growth results from the expansion of core services clients want and expect from a full-service advisory firm.

United Benefit Advisors is a member-owned alliance of more than 140 premier independent benefit advisory firms with more than 200 offices throughout the U.S, Canada and the U.K., and is the nation’s largest independent benefits advisory organization. As trusted and knowledgeable advisors, UBA Members collaborate with more than 2,200 professionals to seek out ideas, insight, expertise and best-in-class solutions that positively impact employers and make a real difference in the lives of their employees and families.



Cornerstone Group

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