- Benefitfocus’s State of Employee Benefits report found that health savings accounts (HSAs) are becoming more popular, particularly among millennials. The report examines the health plan choices of employees from across 500 organizations.
- The report also shows that employers are shifting towards consumer-driven medical plans. Benefitfocus CEO and co-founder Shawn Jenkins says employees have more choices and personalization in health plan choices.
- The study also found that three out of five large employers' offerings include high-deductible health plans (HDHP). Employees who select HDHPs earn 17% more than employees who choose preferred provider organization plans (PPOs) and employees’ out-of-pocket costs for PPOs increased by double-digits, while the same costs for HDHPs increased by 5%.
Employers, employees, healthcare providers and insurers have a responsibility to keep medical costs down. Employers have been struggling to find a solution to healthcare cost increases on their own, so expect to see some experimentation in plan design and payment structures in the coming years.
The popularity of HDHPs sharply increased upon their recent introduction, but adoption of the plans has slowed as of late. The knowledge gap is particularly strong with such plans, as employees may not be prepared for the responsibility of monitoring costs and picking between providers.
Health benefits plans are complex and often confusing. HR can help employees choose the plans that fit their medical needs and financial situation by ensuring that healthcare communication is clear and easily accessible, whether in print, online or in live presentations.