While the political focus of the nation may be in the Presidential and Congressional races coming to a head this November, smart business owners know that – despite the outcome of the elections – things will change in the state of the healthcare market. Do you have a plan? Here are three great articles highlighting the discussion now taking place: is this health reform beneficial? If so, for whom? At who will pay for this benefit?
Help for Plan Shoppers – Summary of Benefits (from WSJ)
“It provides a tool to help people with comparison-shopping,” says Michael Hash, interim director of the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, part of the health and human services agency.
The summary offers a close snapshot, with each page fully covered on back and front. It starts with “important questions” and their answers, including the size of the plan’s overall deductible—the amount a person must pay out of pocket before coverage kicks in—and whether there are other deductibles for specific services.
Perspectives from consumers, physicians and employers (from Deloitte)
Because of the health care industry’s dynamic and complex nature, the opinions of citizens and key constituents upon which policy is built should be regularly monitored. Their views of the health care system and health care reform are critically important to guide and inform the policy makers who oversee its functions.
For that reason, Deloitte has surveyed thousands of Americans over the last year – consumers, physicians, and employers – about their opinions of health care reform. The resulting report brings together unique, data-driven insights on these stakeholders’ perspectives, gathered through three research studies conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions: the 2012 Survey of HealthCare Consumers in the United States; Physician Perspectives about Health Care Reform and the Future of Medicine (2011) and the Deloitte Employer Survey (2012).
Health Care Ruling Affecting Health Benefits Strategies (from PlanSponsor.com)
According to a Towers Watson survey of 440 midsized to large companies, one-third of them are waiting for the upcoming elections or the opening of insurance exchanges before making any significant changes to their health care strategy. Most employers (88%) have affirmed their commitment to offer health care benefits to their active employees for the foreseeable future.
The 2012 Towers Watson Health Care Changes Ahead Survey found the actions and programs that companies are planning or considering include changing plan options (63%); significantly reducing subsidization of coverage for spouses and dependents (38%); and using spousal waivers or surcharges (29%). Additionally, some employers will pass along a greater percentage of costs to employees. Thirteen percent plan to increase their employees’ share of health care premiums in 2013 by five percentage points or more, while 42% plan to increase employees’ share by one to five percentage points.