American Society of Employers (ASE) releases 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey findings

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Media Contacts: Barbara Fornasiero, EAFocus Communications, 248.260.8466, barbara@eafocus.com; Heather Nezich, ASE, 248.223.8040, hnezich@aseonline.org

Livonia, Mich. — Oct. 6, 2016 — The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey.  The annual survey, covering Michigan employers, examines the premiums, deductibles and co-pays of employer-sponsored health plans as well as wellness benefit offerings.

Highlights of the ASE 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey:

  • At 91%, the most widely used plan type among respondents was a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO), which offers employees greater provider options. Only 33% of surveyed companies offered a Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) plan.
  • In 2016, the median in-network PPO plan deductible (in high deductible plans) for employee-only coverage in non-unionized companies was $1,875, up from $1,750 in 2015. Median deductibles for employee plus family coverage increased by $250 to $3,750. Changes in health deductibles among traditional plans (i.e. those without high deductibles) were mixed. In-network deductibles among traditional PPO plans decreased slightly for employee only and employee plus family coverage. Decreases for those plan types were between $100 and $200 for employee-only and employee plus family coverage respectively. However, among HMO plans, the median deductibles increased $250 for employee-only coverage and $500 for employee plus family coverage.
  • Among non-union firms, the average employer premium percentage for employee only and employee plus family coverage for consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), plans that typically combine high-deductible health insurance with tax-advantaged accounts, was 80%, down slightly from 82% in 2015. For traditional PPO plans, the median employer premium for both union and non-union organizations was consistent with 2015 at 82%. For traditional PPO plans, the median employer premium for both union and non-union organizations was maintained at 80%.

In response to a survey question regarding healthcare cost containment strategies, the following are among those noted:

  • Increase the employee’s cost share of health insurance: Nearly 40% of organizations responding either increased the employee’s share prior to 2016 or plan to do so this year.
  • The implementation of additional formulary tiers for prescription drug coverage: In looking at a traditional PPO in 2015, 22% of union organizations used four or five tiers; in the 2016 survey findings, that number rose to almost 24%. In non-union organizations, 94% of organizations reported using three tiers and above in the 2016 survey, up from 88% in 2015.
  • The creation or expansion of wellness programs: Union organizations offering screening activities, preventative interventions and health promotion activities increased more than 10% from 2015; there was also an overall increase in the percentage of union organizations offering cash or cash equivalent incentives for wellness activity participation as opposed to a premium discount or contribution to an HSA/HRA.

The ASE 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey findings were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado.

“This survey serves as a resource employers can use to ensure they are effectively competing in the marketplace,” Corrado said. “Healthcare remains a substantial investment for both employers and employees.  Employers are adjusting their health plans and associated premium, co-pay and deductible expenses in a manner that ensures affordability for both the employer and the employee.”

Background information on the ASE 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey:

  • 229 organizations from across Michigan participated.
  • Organizations with 50 to 499 employees nationally made up more than 60% of the survey sample, while organizations with more than 500 employees nationally represented nearly 22% of the sample. The remaining 18% of the sample come from organizations with fewer than 50 employees nationally.
  • A variety of industries are represented, with manufacturing or goods producing organizations representing 51% of the survey sample. The remaining 49% are represented by trades and services organizations.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2016 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Compensation and Benefits Surveys department at surveys@aseonline.org or 248.353.4500.  This survey is available free of charge to ASE-member survey participants, $225 to ASE members and $1,350 for non-members.

About the American Society of Employers (ASE) – a Centennial Organization

The American Society of Employers (ASE) is a not-for-profit trade association providing people-management information and services to Michigan employers. Since 1902, member organizations have relied on ASE to be their single, cost-effective source for information and support, helping to grow their bottom line by enhancing the effectiveness of their people. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.

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