Employers Assertively Address Healthcare Reform In 2014 Benefit Plan Changes
Overview
As more healthcare reform measures f...
Trader Joe's
Grocer will no longer offer health benefits for part-time workers. They will receive a $500 stipend and
direc...
Employers Assertively Address Healthcare Reform In 2014 Benefit Plan Changes - John Baresky, #baresky
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Employers Assertively Address Healthcare Reform In 2014 Benefit Plan Changes - John Baresky, #baresky

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Employers Assertively Address Healthcare Reform In 2014 Benefit Plan Changes

Overview

As more healthcare reform measures fall into place and additional ones become active on 1/1/2014, employers are making significant changes to their healthcare benefit plans. In the past, many employers took focused, selective measures to flatten inevitable annual cost increases. Higher copays, changing to coinsurance, more prior authorizations/referral requirements and higher deductibles were the typical measures; the most drastic ones would be discontinuing a plan replacing it with another. Employers are choosing much more assertive measures to reduce their exposure to increased healthcare costs and reduce their involvement with managing benefit programs for their employees and their dependents.

Learn more about healthcare reform and the healthcare industry at:

www.healthcaremedicalpharmaceuticaldirectory.com


www.healthcaremedicalpharmaceuticaldirectory.com

John G. Baresky

https://www.linkedin.com/in/johngbaresky

#baresky

Published in: Health & Medicine, Business
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Employers Assertively Address Healthcare Reform In 2014 Benefit Plan Changes - John Baresky, #baresky

  1. 1. Employers Assertively Address Healthcare Reform In 2014 Benefit Plan Changes Overview As more healthcare reform measures fall into place and additional ones become active on 1/1/2014, employers are making significant changes to their healthcare benefit plans. In the past, many employers took focused, selective measures to flatten inevitable annual cost increases. Higher copays, changing to coinsurance, more prior authorizations/referral requirements and higher deductibles were the typical measures; the most drastic ones would be discontinuing a plan replacing it with another. Employers are choosing much more assertive measures to reduce their exposure to increased healthcare costs and reduce their involvement with managing benefit programs for their employees and their dependents. It costs money for companies to manage the benefit programs of their employees. By shifting employees and retirees to private or government health insurance exchanges, they offload some of the administrative burden to insurers and managed care plans. Through dropping coverage for part- time workers and for spouses/partners who can get insurance through their own employers, they reduce the administrative and financial responsibilities for their company. As healthcare costs continue to rise, companies are seeking ways to better control how much more they will pay each year for the coverage of their employees. By assigning a fixed amount of funding for each employee to use in an exchange (a defined contribution arrangement), they shift more of the risk to insurers and managed care plans. By shifting from defined benefit plans (coverage chosen by the company at a defined premium cost), it also helps them avoid the upcoming excise tax on benefits. Examples of 2014 benefit plan changes by U.S. corporations: Home Depot Hardware/home improvement retailer will no longer offer medical benefits to part-time employees. They are directed to obtain health insurance from state government-based health insurance exchanges. IBM Global IT company is moving 110,000 Medicare-eligible retirees to Towers Watson Extend Health, a private Medicare health insurance exchange. Beneficiaries will be directed to choose plan coverages on their own. Time Warner Media company is discontinuing its direct healthcare benefit insurance for its retirees. They will be assigned a fixed amount of funding and directed to a private healthcare exchange to choose their own coverage.
  2. 2. Trader Joe's Grocer will no longer offer health benefits for part-time workers. They will receive a $500 stipend and directed to obtain health coverage through state-government based health insurance exchanges. UPS Global shipping giant will no longer cover spouses/partners of non-union employees who can access healthcare coverage through their own employer. Company will continue to cover eligible dependents of non-union employees. Coverage of union employees and their dependents (including spouses/partners) continues. Walgreen Co. Chain drugstore will provide an allowance to eligible employees to purchase health insurance through a private insurance exchange operated by AON. About 160,000 employees will be affected. Impact Employee/retiree beneficiaries will be directly affected in several ways: If their coverage is discontinued, they will be paying more in out-of-pocket costs as they will have to go to state-run insurance exchanges for coverage. Healthcare reform mandates individuals must buy health insurance or pay a penalty. Persons will be much more economically minded when they must choose their own insurance. They may settle for less coverage, higher deductibles or even forgoing treatment to avoid spending more money. Employees will closely consider overall benefit offerings when deciding whether to stay with their present employer or go to another company. Individuals will evaluate the true monetary value of benefit plans and tie them more closely to their total compensation. When planning for retirement, employees will more carefully consider when they can actually afford to leave the workforce. They may reluctantly stay with their employer longer and conceivably cost the employer more in benefits over the long run if they decide to remain in the workforce to accrue more savings prior to retiring. The United States is currently at the front-end of healthcare reform. Many more measures will fall into place over the coming years. Employees, retirees and employers will have a lot to think about and act upon during this time. While medical and financial considerations are currently at the forefront for them, they will be paying further attention to healthcare reform in their decisions during future elections. The pluses and minuses of healthcare reform will be closely weighed and acted upon at the polls. For more discussion and information, please go to: www.healthcaremedicalpharmaceuticaldirectory.com No subscription is required.

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