United Benefit Advisors: Annual Benchmark Survey Shows Average Annual Health Plan Cost is $6,881 Per Employee; Largest Percentage of CDHP Adopters Comes from Employers with 25-100 Employees

Tuesday, August 28, 2007 General News
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INDIANAPOLIS, Aug. 28 United Benefit Advisors (UBA),(http://benefits.com), an alliance of 142 of the nation's premier independentbenefit advisory firms, today released the results of its third annualemployer-sponsored health plan benchmark survey.

With responses from 16,485 health plans sponsored by 11,723 employersnationwide who employ nearly 1.9 million people (approximately 4.5 milliontotal lives), the 2007 UBA Health Plan Survey is the nation's largest and mostcomprehensive survey of plan design and plan costs.

"With a growth rate of approximately 20% over last year's previouslyunprecedented number of respondents, the report defines benchmarks for agreater number of specific industries, regions, and employee size categoriesthan have been available previously," says Bill Stafford, UBA's VicePresident, Member Services. "The results will be especially valuable toemployers in evaluating the effectiveness of their current plans and toknowledgeably make future adjustments while keeping their benefits bothcompetitive and cost-effective."

The survey report provides vital benchmark statistics on hundreds ofhealth plan factors, including detailed enrollment, plan design, plan cost,employee premium cost-sharing, prescription drug, retiree plan, and flexiblespending account norms.

"With employer health plan information reported for over 3,100 cities fromvirtually every state in the country, differences in plan design and plancosts among various regions and industry groups become quite clear," saysDavid LoCascio, UBA's Co-Founder. "This unique level of detail enables UBAMember Firms to provide quantifiable benchmarks to empower their clients tomake the most effective decisions possible regarding their health plans."

As an example, the survey data confirm that the often reported averagefamily health plan premium cost difference for plans in the Northeast (13.8%above the national average) is largely attributable to those plans havingricher benefits than any other region of the country. Specifically, 71.0% ofplans in the Northeast have no single deductible, and an amazing 82.1% have noin-network coinsurance, versus roughly 30% for plans in other regions.

"The intent of the survey is to provide not only large employers witheffective plan benchmarks, but most importantly to provide the 98.8% ofemployer plan sponsors who have fewer than 1,000 employees with benchmarkingdata that is critical in managing their programs effectively," says Stafford."With an increasing number of employers having operations in multiplelocations, a genuinely national survey of this size and scope is the mosteffective way to deliver that information."

Copies of the survey are available for purchase via UBA's website atwww.benefits.com. An updated companion report, the 2008 UBA Employer OpinionSurvey, which delineates employers' specific healthcare strategies, cost-containment efforts, opinions, and future expectations regarding their healthplans, will be released in the Spring of 2008.

About United Benefit Advisors (UBA)

UBA, (http://benefits.com), is one of the nation's largest employeebenefits advisory organizations with over 1,900 experienced benefitsprofessionals located in more than 165 offices across North America. As analliance of the nation's premier independent benefit advisory firms, UBAmembers are better positioned to help employers and employees respond moreefficiently and effectively to the challenges of an ever-changing employeebenefits marketplace.Among the survey's numerous findings: * The average annual health plan cost per employee is $6,881 (medical only coverage), with an average employee cost of $3,110 and an average employer cost of $3,771 per employee. * Average premiums for all plans were $347 for single coverage and $848 for family (a weighted average of all non-single coverage

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