February 14 Webinar: Experts Provide Insight on the Popularity of Defined-Contribution Plans

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Learn why defined-contribution plans are garnering so much interest, the advantages they hold for employers and health plans, and why they may eventually become the dominant plan type in a webinar sponsored by Atlantic Information Services.

Atlantic Information Services, Inc., publisher of Health Plan Week, is pleased to announce its February 14 webinar, How Defined-Contribution Benefit Design Can Help Insurers, Employers and Enrollees. See webinar details at http://aishealth.com/marketplace/c2m06_021412.

In recent years, defined-contribution plans have become a popular option to traditional defined-benefit plans. The model provides for a more predictable health care spend, while allowing enrollees to take greater control over their health care dollars and choose a plan that more closely meets their individual needs. In today’s competitive environment, defined-contribution strategies are increasingly being developed by insurers to help them retain clients. As premium costs continue to rise and private exchanges grow, defined-contribution plans may be instrumental in persuading many employers to retain health coverage for their employees.

Within days of each other in November, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City and Highmark began promoting their private exchange models, through which they will offer defined-contribution plans to small businesses. While the K.C. Blues plan has offered defined-contribution options since 2009, Highmark launched its exchange as a pilot this month with 20 small-employer clients. In the face of growing demand, many insurers are adding more defined-contribution options, which range from high-premium offerings with limited out-of-pocket costs to less costly high-deductible options.

On February 14, Ron Rowe, from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Alan Cohen, from Liazon Corporation, and Christopher Condeluci, from Venable LLP, will discuss why defined-contribution plans are garnering so much interest, the advantages they hold for employers and health plans, and why they may eventually become the dominant plan type.

During the 60-minute presentation and 30 minutes of Q&A, participants will get insider perspectives on key questions such as:

  • What outcomes have health plans experienced since implementing defined-contribution plans?
  • How could a growing demand for defined-contribution options create a new level of competition among insurers?
  • How can companies best implement defined-contribution plans?
  • What pitfalls do employers need to avoid with regard to tax treatment, nondiscrimination rules, HIPAA and other legal issues related to defined-contribution plans?
  • Why are some employers that don’t offer coverage now clamoring for a defined-contribution strategy?
  • Why won’t some employers want to use a defined-contribution approach for all of their employees?
  • How, and to what extent, is defined-contribution expected to be integrated into the development of private exchanges?
  • What do brokers and agents need to know before promoting the model to clients?
  • Why will some employees embrace skinnier benefits and limited provider access in favor of lower costs at the providers they use the most?

Visit http://aishealth.com/marketplace/c2m06_021412 for more details and registration information.

About AIS
AIS develops highly targeted news, data and strategies for managers in hospitals, health plans, medical group practices, pharmaceutical companies and other health care organizations. Learn more at http://www.AISHealth.com.


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Shelly Beaird-Francois
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