Organizations across the country have been forced to quickly adapt during the COVID-19 pandemic, and insurance benefits are one area to see significant modifications. The ASE 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey details these changes by examining premiums, deductibles, and co-pays of employer-sponsored health plans among 174 Michigan employers. Wellness benefits and cost control strategies are also benchmarked.
More than a quarter (27%) of participants reported that the Coronavirus has impacted their insurance benefits in some way, with telemedicine noted as a primary new benefit. Other changes include covering co-pays for the care and treatment of COVID-19 and offering Employee Assistance Programs at no cost.
Additional highlights of the ASE 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey include:
- Median premium increases (after plan changes) remained flat compared to data reported in last year’s study. According to this year’s sample, median premium increases were just 2.7% for 2019 and 3% for 2020 plan years. Median increases for 2021 are projected to be 5%.
- A majority of the participants (61%) reported offering two to three types of health plans. The most utilized plan type continues to be Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) with 87% of companies offering this option.
- The three-tiered price structure (generic, preferred brand, non-preferred brand) for prescription drug plans remains the most popular among traditional PPOs with 53% of non-unionized organizations reporting this structure. Four-tiered price structures followed as the second most prevalent option at 24%. This was an increase of two percentage points from a year ago.
- Compared to last year’s results, more organizations are offering certain wellness benefits. For example, 46% of non-union organizations provided some form of a preventative intervention-type wellness program. This is up from 36% a year ago. These programs are defined as smoking cessation, stress management, and/or weight loss programs.
- Median annual employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) remained unchanged from the last four years with an employee only contribution totaling $500 and an employee + family contribution totaling $1,000 in non-unionized organizations.
- The number one strategy that employers planned to implement in 2020 was increasing employee education regarding health plan features and costs (9%). Increasing the employees’ cost share (26%) and expanding wellness programs (24%) top the list of strategies that companies are considering but have yet to set a timeline for.
To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Survey Team at email@example.com or 248.223.8025. This survey is available at no cost to ASE member survey participants and is available for $1,350 for non-members.