UBA 2013 Health Plan Survey Shows Major Differences in Health Benefits Across U.S. Regions

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Foundation Strategies Inc. released results from the United Benefit Advisors 2013 Health Plan Survey, the nation’s largest health plan benchmarking survey, that show drastic differences in employee health benefits cost and plan design across multiple regions of the United States.

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The results from the 2013 Health Plan Survey illustrate the value of benchmarking for competitive advantage and savings.

“The size of our survey, with nearly 11,000 employers responding, allows our clients to benchmark their plans based upon plan type, region, employee size and industry category more accurately than any other survey available, and gives them the best opportunity to see how their plan stacks up against competitors’ plans and so they can better understand and communicate the value of their benefits to employees,” says Chic Coonrod, Principal at Foundation Strategies, a benefits brokerage and consulting firm.

For example, when considering a mid-size firm in Houston, Texas. whose health plan cost for a single employee is $342, it is important to compare against regional benchmarks instead of national. When compared against the national average for all plans, their cost is $82 per month more; however, when compared with other CDHPs in the South Central region, this employer’s cost is actually $59 per month less expensive than the average.

Further still, compare this employer’s cost to its closest peers using a state-specific benchmark, which in Texas is $457, and it becomes clear this employer’s monthly single premium is actually $115 less than its competitors in the state.

“UBA Partner clients saved, on average, 4.8 percent from their initial medical plan renewal offer in 2013, which translates to a staggering $820 million in annual medical plan cost savings,” says Thom Mangan, CEO of UBA. “Historically, benchmarking data of this kind were unavailable to small and midsize employers. Now, by using such detailed information, we are able to more accurately evaluate costs, and ultimately give employers of all sizes a competitive edge in recruiting and retaining a superior workforce.”

Key Trends By Region:

•Preferred provider organization (PPO) plans continue to be the dominant plan type offered to employees nationally, with approximately 47.2 percent of all employees enrolled in this plan type. A total of 67.2% of Texas employers offer this plan type.

•Total Annual Cost Per Employee varies statewide within a particular region. The average per employee cost in Texas is $7,887, whereas the Central region average is $8,043.

•Fully Insured health plans remain the primary choice for employers in the Central region with 85.2% and only 14.8% are self-insured.

Data in the 2013 UBA Health Plan Survey are based on responses from 10,551 employers sponsoring 16,928 health plans nationwide. The 2013 UBA Health Plan Survey offers more than national data and recommends that employers benchmark with local data, which are more effective when adjusting plan design, negotiating rates and communicating value to employees. As a UBA Partner Firm, Foundation Strategies can provide a customized benchmarking report based on industry, region and business size. (http://www.foundation-strategies.com.) For additional questions contact Charles Coonrod at (281)394-1314.

About Foundation Strategies Inc. (FSI)

Foundation Strategies Inc. was originally founded in 1996 with the express mission of making the client our top priority. Our goal is to provide the highest level of expertise and service at a cost that is fair and affordable. We believe that communication is the key to facilitating positive change, whether through employee education or ongoing financial and plan monitoring.

We operate as an independent consulting/brokerage firm. Our size allows us the flexibility to provide the customized, intensive and proactive service our clients require. We are committed to maintaining a low client-to-consultant ratio. This alone sets us apart in the market, where the norm is the opposite.

Our full range of health and welfare consulting services include but are not limited to Merger and Acquisition Integration Strategy, Total Healthcare Management Strategy and Monitoring, Consumerism and Communication Strategy, Vendor Management, Plan Management, Financial Accounting and Global Strategy Development.

About United Benefit Advisors (UBA)

United Benefit Advisors is the nation’s leading independent employee benefits advisory organization with more than 200 offices throughout the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Visit http://www.UBAbenefits.com.

Erin Mathiasen
Foundation Strategies Inc.
emathiasen (at) foundation-strategies (dot) com
(281) 394-1313

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Charles Coonrod
since: 08/2009
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