The Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust (HRET) released their 2017 Employer Health Benefits Surveyin September. The report sheds light on the employer-sponsored insurance landscape, which covers around 151 million workers.
Not surprisingly, costs continue to rise for both employers and employees, although the increases are in the single digits again this year.
Workers covered under employer plans are paying for a larger percentage of the healthcare services they receive, in the form of:
With the widespread adoption of high deductible health plans, employees are spending more of their paychecks to cover healthcare services.
Employees are also paying more out-of-pocket to cover plan premiums. On average:
Healthcare costs and employer benefits strategies impact the cost of premiums regionally, by industry, and by company size. For example:
You know what you and your employees pay for healthcare, so how does it compare to the rest of the country? The Kaiser/HRET surveyshows that for 2017, the average annual premium for:
This lets you see if your healthcare benefits are in line with the national averages of the employers responding to the survey. It even provides a snapshot of the costs in the Northeast, South, Midwest, and West.
But don’t get too excited. While this information helps put your healthcare benefits program in context, it doesn’t really give you the insight you need.
Well to start, the 4 regions the report is broken in to cover a large area and millions of workers in urban and rural locations.
To get a true comparison, you need to have more focused data, specific to your localized region. You want to benchmark your company against those you compete with for talent and who face the same health issues that you do. To get that type of insight, you need a data analytics vendor who provides regional benchmarking.
The best data analytics vendors integrate data across all your benefits programs to give you a 360-degree view of your population. But even if you only integrate medical and Rx, you’ll get a much better understanding what’s happening within your population. The vendor should also be able to benchmark your program to others in your region.
Partnering with a data analytics vendor who offers more than an out-of-the box solution and that provides added analysis, not just static reports, will give you the insight you need to improve health and control costs. Choose wisely to get the most out of your vendor.