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ASE Releases 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey Findings – COVID-19 Shows Mild Impact on Health Plan Design

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September 21, 2020
Livonia, Mich.  September 21, 2020 --- American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2020 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 benefits and cost control strategies.
 
Highlights of the ASE 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey include:
 
  • The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted slightly more than a quarter (27%) of participants.  Telemedicine was overwhelmingly noted as a primary new benefit.
  • Median premium increases (after plan changes) remained flat compared to data reported in last year’s study.  According to this year’s sample, median premium increases were just 2.7% for 2019 and 3% for 2020 plan years.  Median increases for 2021 are projected to be 5%.
  • A majority of the participants (61%) reported offering two to three types of health plans.  The most utilized plan type continues to be Preferred Provider Organization Plans (PPO) with 87% of companies offering this option. 
  • The three-tiered price structure (generic, preferred brand, non-preferred brand) for prescription drug plans remains the most popular among traditional PPOs with 53% of non-unionized organizations reporting this structure. Four-tiered price structures followed as the second most prevalent option at 24%.  This was an increase of two percentage points from a year ago.
  • Compared to last year’s results, more organizations are offering certain wellness benefits.  For example, 46% of non-union organizations provided some form of a preventative intervention-type wellness program.  This is up from 36% a year ago.  These programs are defined as smoking cessation, stress management, and/or weight loss programs. 
  • Median annual employer contributions to Health Savings Accounts (HSA) remained unchanged from the last four years with an employee only contribution totaling $500 and an employee + family contribution totaling $1,000 in non-unionized organizations.
  • The number one strategy that employers planned to implement in 2020 was increasing employee education regarding health plan features and costs (9%). Increasing the employees cost share (26%) and expanding wellness programs (24%) top the list of strategies that companies are considering but have yet to set a timeline for.
 
The ASE 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey findings were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado. “The pandemic has challenged employers in many ways, including health plan design and delivery.  Our data shows that many employers looked for ways to make healthcare more accessible during the pandemic.  This took the form of various plan amendments or greater access to certain benefits,” stated Mary E. Corrado, ASE President & CEO.”
 
Background information on the ASE 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey:
174 organizations from across Michigan participated. Organizations with 50 to 499 employees nationally made up more than 52% of the survey sample, while organizations with more than 500 employees nationally represented nearly 32% of the sample. The remaining 16% of the sample came from organizations with fewer than 50 employees nationally.  A variety of industries have been represented in the survey, with durable goods, manufacturing (37%) leading the pack. Trades and services (34%) were the second-largest industry representation.
 
To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2020 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey, contact ASE’s Survey Team at surveys@aseonline.org or 248.223.8025.  This survey is available at no cost to ASE-member survey participants and is available for $1,350 for non-members.
 
About ASE
ASE is Michigan’s trusted HR partner.  ASE is a non-profit, membership organization – everything we do is based on the needs of members and to drive the success of their organizations.  ASE strengthens organization's HR departments by offering member benefits and discounted services that span the entire employee lifecycle including recruitment, development, and retention while minimizing compliance risk. We provide our members guidance through new legislation and workplace issues such as those currently occurring with the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more about ASE at www.aseonline.org.
Contact:
Heather Nezich, Manager, Communications
hnezich@aseonline.org, (248) 223-8040

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