- Workers who chose their healthcare coverage through an exchange said they were better informed consumers and more satisfied with their plan choice in a new study, Employee Benefit Adviser reports.
- Liazon's 2017 Employee Survey Report found that 82% of survey respondents were more confident in their healthcare decisions after enrolling in an exchange.
- When asked if they wanted to select their own plan, 95% of the respondents favored selecting their own plan versus 5% who preferred their employer to make the choice, according to the report.
Giving employees the means to take charge of their healthcare is about more than just freeing up time for HR departments. When employees have sufficient health education, they're more likely to be both engaged benefits users and more comfortable with their choices.
It doesn't hurt that HR is freed up to focus on more strategic functions, such as managing the open enrollment process and negotiating plan offerings with vendors. The survey responses seem to affirm that once employees understand their healthcare coverage and get past the confusion that often accompanies benefits selection, they become more knowledgeable as healthcare consumers.
Republican lawmakers failed to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which reportedly would have left 24 million Americans uninsured. That hasn't changed the fact that fewer healthcare exchanges are operating today than there were when the ACA was enacted.
Additionally, a few big insurers, like Aetna and Anthem, have threatened to drop out of the exchanges entirely, in spite of their growing popularity among consumers. These drawbacks hopefully won’t affect the progress employees have made in taking charge of their healthcare.
Meanwhile, employers — mainly through their advocates in Washington — are pushing for reform of the present system as soon as possible. From their perspective, burdensome taxes continue to raise costs, while all sides seem to be aware of the acute impact of pharmaceutical prices.