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Feb
10

Innovation in cost control?

Weiss Ratings (yes, I’m a big fan) released an analysis of recent changes to employees’ health plans, and there is a notable lack of innovation.
According to Weiss, “Higher prescription drug co-pays were cited by 34.3 percent of consumers polled, while 23.8 percent indicated higher co-pays for physician visits.” In addition, in perhaps the most drastic move to control health insuranc costs, 11.3% lost their health insurance altogether.
This last statistic may be inflated due to the nature of the study, so I wouldn’t generalize the result to a larger population. However, it is important to note the large percentage of respondents who saw an increase in costs shifted to them from the health plan. Call it “consumerism”, “accountability”, “burden sharing” or what you will, it is clear that employers are fast running out of ideas.


Joe Paduda is the principal of Health Strategy Associates

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A national consulting firm specializing in managed care for workers’ compensation, group health and auto, and health care cost containment. We serve insurers, employers and health care providers.

 

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