Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Employers To Health Insurers: You Suck

Employers of all sizes aren't happy with their health insurance providers, according to a new PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey of 250 employers.

Among the findings:
Large employers' satisfaction with health insurers fell from 64% in 2008 to 59% in 2009.

Small employers are more unhappy than large employers, with overall satisfaction at 52%. But the gap between large and small employers is narrowing as large employers grow more unsatisfied over time.

Claims processing, administrative fees and provider discounts are the most important basic service offerings for both large and small employers. Wellness programs have overtaken provider discounts as the more important offering for large companies, though.

Employers are frustrated with low employee participation in wellness and disease management programs. Incentives such as cash, gift cards and annual premium savings are no longer working as a way to get employees to enroll.

There's growing interest in personal technology tools such as personal health records and online comparison tools. About half of all employers say it's important for insurers to offer these tools, but less than half are satisfied with what they're getting.

I'm not surprised that employers are unhappy with their insurance providers, given how costs are continually on the rise. But I am surprised by their frustration over low participation in wellness offerings.

You'll find the full report here.

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