With 2013 right around the corner, there’s a lot to consider. Employers, for one, need to consider their priorities for employer-sponsored health plans.
Here's a short list of what employer health plan sponsors need to keep top-of-mind going into the New Year, according to Mercer health benefit consultants.
1. Prepare for the health reform law’s 2014 requirements. Sure, there’s health reform provisions in 2013 to watch, but 2014 is the year employers should really be thinking about.
2. Evaluate the level of benefits provided. As employers are asked to cover more individuals, they are reconsidering the level of benefits they provide and how much they contribute to the cost. Providing employees with a low-cost plan (like a consumer-directed health plan) as the core benefit and giving them the option to pay more for richer coverage is one approach gaining momentum.
3. Examine whether private health exchanges have a place in the health benefits strategy. While relatively few employers expect to drop their medical plans entirely, some are considering private exchanges for retirees, active employees or both. Exchanges reduce the administrative burden for employers and can give members more flexibility in selecting insurance products to meet their needs.
5. Rethink where and how care is delivered. Market innovations like telemedicine, surgical centers of excellence and medical homes are starting to transform the health care delivery system.