August 14, 2016

NBGH Releases 2017 Health Plan Design Survey

nbgh logoThe National Business Group on Health released a summary of their 2017 Health Plan Design Survey last week.  The press release itself and, of course the actual survey, are worth the read.

Ironically, a 5% increase in premiums (as projected by major employers for 2017) would have been a stunning improvement from the double-digit premium increases being experienced just 10-12 years ago.  Why has this dramatic decrease been achieved?  Well, in spite of all the problems in healthcare, employers have focused their efforts.  The result has been the introduction of many new options and programs, tied with data to see what works. 

  • Narrow networks or what might be called today “Centers of Excellence”
  • Wellness plans with an emphasis on understanding participation and how to drive that up
  • Nurse coaching
  • Telemedicine
  • Transparency in pricing and financial coaching/counseling regarding major healthcare procedures and expenses

And, of course, we can’t ignore the increase in premium sharing by employees as well as the move to high deductible health plans.  But, when you read through the press release, you can’t help but notice that much of what the survey finds is found in an on-site clinic.  These started in earnest decades ago, and have only grown in number and in their ability to reduce costs to everyone and improve the health of hundreds of thousands of employees and their dependents.

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