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As poll after poll reveals, Americans are mostly still happy with their employer-provided insurance (unless they have high deductibles). A new study endeavors to answer a somewhat less addressed question: How happy are employers with their health plans?

Short answer: Not very.

In June 2020, independent national health care watchdog The Leapfrog Group conducted a survey of 174 employers representing an estimated 4 million insured. The survey asked these employers to identify which health plan or plans they contracted with, and to rate those plans on four criteria:

  • Responsiveness of the health plan to employer concerns;
  • Transparency in helping employers and employees choose the best providers;
  • Payment reform initiatives that incentivize excellence in the market; and
  • Value strategies driven by health plans

At 71%, Cigna rated the highest for responsiveness to employer priorities. Aetna followed at 63%, while United Healthcare and Blue Cross Blue Shield tied at 52%. Cigna and Aetna also led the pack at putting employer needs above the contracted provider needs, but only at 38% each. BCBS rated 23%, with UHC bringing up the rear at 14%.

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