United Benefit Advisors, one of the nation's top five employee benefits advisory organizations and an organization that assists employers looking to evaluate their plan costs against both national and regional averages recently conducted a benefits benchmarking survey. What makes the survey unique is that it's the nation's largest health plan benefits benchmarking survey with 11,711 employer responses.
The 2012 UBA Health Plan Survey provides in-depth results broken down by region, industry and by employer size. A close look at some regional data for the Northeast reveals:
- The average annual cost for plans in this region are markedly higher than in other regions of the country.
- Of all health plans in the Northeast, 33.6 percent have no single deductible, compared with just 8.4 percent and 4.1 percent in the Southeast and Central regions, respectively.
- 76.9 % of all plans in the Northeast provide 100 % in-network coinsurance. That’s compared with a low of 27.8 % in the Central region and an average of 31.6 % among the remaining regions.
- The significant plan differences resulting from specific coverage items also help explain this region’s cost disparity from the rest of the country. One of the most notable examples of this trend is same-sex domestic partner coverage. Among all employers, only 45.4 % in the Northeast offer such coverage, compared to 70.7 % in the West (the remaining three regions average just 15.9 percent).
- How much should we contribute to employee premiums?
- Which would result in more cost savings: raising deductibles or changing plan types?
- How are other employers cutting health costs?
- What are the trends across the country and in my area?
- What risks are involved over the long run if we drop health benefits for employees?