iLoveBenefits: Industry News Blog

What are the long term implications to longevity

Putting a Positive Spin on a Critical Problem

53% of Exchange Consumers are Satisfied With Their Health Plan

Deloitte recently published their 2016 Survey of US Health Care Consumers. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • More than half (53%) of exchange consumers are satisfied with their health plan overall.
  • 54% of those with employer insurance and 74% of those with Medicare are satisfied.
  • 7 in 10 exchange consumers say they had no financial difficulty paying out-of-pocket costs last year.
  • 34% of exchange consumers feel prepared to handle future health care costs compared with 16% in 2015.
  • Nearly half of exchange consumers (45%) say they feel confident about being able to get affordable care.
  • 67% of exchange consumers looked online for help selecting a policy vs. 30% with employer coverage.

Source: Deloitte, May 11, 2016

Drug costs in 2015

4.4 Billion Prescription Drugs Were Dispensed in 2015

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics recently conducted an analysis on medication spending trends. Here are some key findings from the report:

· Total spending on medicines in the U.S. reached $310 billion in 2015.

· 2015 saw a 8.5% total spending increase for medicines in the U.S. compared to 2014.

· Specialty medicines contributed more than two-thirds of overall growth between 2010 and 2015.

· 2015 saw a 21.5% spending increase for specialty medicines to $150.8 billion on an invoice price basis.

· The average patient cost exposure for brand prescriptions reached $44 per prescription in 2015.

· Total prescriptions dispensed in 2015 reached 4.4 billion, up 1% year over year.

Source: IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, April 14, 2016

Race/Ethnicity for persons without health insurance

According to data from the January–September 2015 National Health Interview Survey, after adjusting for age and sex, the percentage of persons without health insurance coverage by race/ethnicity was:

  • 19.5% for Hispanic persons
  • 6.3% for non-Hispanic white persons
  • 10.0% for non-Hispanic black persons

Source: “Early Release of Selected Estimates Based on Data From the January–September 2015 National Health Interview Survey,” National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, February 2016,

February 25, 2016 | Categories: Benefits,healthcare,insurance | Tags: , , | Comments (0)

4 in 5 expect that by 2021, patients will compare ratings before choosing a hospital

Survey: Most Patients Will Belong to Incentivized Health Plans by 2021

The Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development recently conducted a survey on healthcare leaders’ thoughts on emerging trends in healthcare. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • 99% agreed that by 2021 patients will demand a greater role in treatment planning.
  • 4 in 5 expect that by 2021, patients will compare ratings before choosing a hospital.
  • 89% said that most of their hospital’s insured patients will belong to incentivized health plans by 2021.
  • Most practitioners (88%) predict that at least a quarter of chronic disease patients will receive it remotely.
  • Two-thirds of practitioners predict that most chronic illness patients will receive primary care that includes some type of psychotherapy service.

Source: Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development, January 26, 2016

US Healthcare Spending $3 Trillion

U.S. Healthcare Spending was $9,523 Per Capita in 2014

Health Affairs recently published a study on national health spending trends in 2014. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • U.S. health care spending increased 5.3% to $3.0 trillion in 2014.
  • Health spending was $9,523 per capita in 2014, 4.5% higher than in 2013.
  • The share of gross domestic product used for health care was 17.5%, up from 17.3% in 2013.
  • Retail prescription drug expenditures increased by 12.2% in 2014.
  • Medicaid spending growth increased at a rate of 11%, compared to 5.9% in 2013.
  • The federal government’s share of health spending increased from 26% in 2013 to 28% in 2014.

Source: Health Affairs, November 2015

Health Benefits Cost $11,635 Per Employee in 2015

Mercer recently conducted the annual National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans. Here are some key findings from the report:

  • Total health benefits cost averaged $11,635 per employee in 2015.
  • Large employers experienced a 2.9% increase, while smaller employers experienced a 5.9% increase.
  • One fourth of all covered employees are now enrolled in a CDHP.
  • Employers predict that in 2016 their cost per employee will rise by 4.3% after making plan adjustments.
  • 24% of employers provided transparency tools in 2015, up from 15% in 2014.
  • 1 in 4 large employers encourage employees to track physical activity with a ‘wearable’ device.

Source: Mercer, November 23, 2015

Shifting the cost of health care

According to a recent analysis, total health care costs covered by employers have fallen by about 1% per year since 2012. Source: “2015 Records Lowest U.S. Health Care Cost Increases in Nearly 20 years,” Aon Media Center, November 12, 2015,

1% might not sound like a lot, but consider that on a roughly right basis if the cost of individual health care is $10,000 and the employer had been picking up 80% and the employee 20% a 1% shift is $80 PLUS the amount of the annual increase. If the increase is 6% then that’s an increase of $600 (of which the employee is paying an additional $120. So the total increase including the shift is @$200. So where they were paying $2000 (20% of $10,000) they are now paying 21% of $10,600 or $2226. That is an 11.3% increase year over year.

NCQA Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015–2016

Using a new methodology, NCQA has announced their Health Insurance Plan Ratings 2015–2016. NCQA studied 1,358 health plans and rated 1,016: 491 private (commercial), 376 Medicare and 149 Medicaid. The ratings align with the CMS Star Ratings of Medicare Advantage plans, and incorporate health outcomes and consumer satisfaction data. Click to continue.

AHRQ Stats: Health Care Coverage

The percentage of people without health insurance decreased from 22 percent in 2010 to 20 percent in 2013. The percentage of uninsured fell further, to 16 percent, in the first half of 2014. (Source: Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, 2014 National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report Chartbook on Access to Health Care.)

September 16, 2015 | Categories: Benefits,healthcare,insurance | Tags: , , , | Comments (0)
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