Kiss Your Current Insurance Plan Goodbye, It's Another PPACA Broken Promise
President Obama guaranteed Americans that if they liked their health plan, they could keep it, but with each passing day that promise rings more and more hollow. The National Business Group on Health released its annual plan design survey report today and it shows a majority of employers (53 percent) are planning to change their health insurance as a result of PPACA’s passage.
Employer changes to existing health plan designs reflect the need to comply with the myriad of federally mandated coverage provisions and the expectation that PPACA will fail to bend the health care cost curve. Employers estimated an average increase in health care costs of 7.0 percent in 2010 and a slightly larger average increase of 8.9 percent in 2011.
To address the rising cost of providing health care coverage, employers are turning to market-based solutions in the form of consumer-directed health plans (CDHP). Of the employers surveyed, 61 percent plan to offer a CDHP plan in 2011, even though these plans have come under attack by PPACA advocates who intend to federalize plan design and restrict employee contribution levels.
Employers are going beyond medical plan design and are now focusing on managing pharmacy benefits to combat the rising cost of health care. Employers are most likely to use prior authorization (73 percent) followed by step therapy (63 percent), three-tier design (63 percent), and mandatory mail order for maintenance medications (47 percent).
PPACA’s inability to inspire confidence among employers that health care reform will bend the cost curve is a driving force behind the changes to the health plans of millions of Americans. Real reform would: encourage providers to offer higher-quality care at lower costs; reduce the cost pressures that underlie the bankrupt Medicare and Medicaid entitlements; and give every American access to more options for quality insurance.
Instead, Americans are left with a broken promise. They can kiss their current insurance plan goodbye.
Read the full National Business Group on Health 2010 Survey Report here.