Aflac | Workforces Report | 2013 - page 10

A f l a c |
W o r k f o r c e s r e p o r t | 2 0 1 3
According to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report,
more than half (53 percent) of employers have
implemented an HDHP over the past three years.
Many experts characterize HDHPs as “entry-level”
versions of the consumerism that state and private
insurance exchanges will offer – moving from simply
providing consumers money to purchase health care
services to giving them money to buy insurance
altogether. This shift requires an entirely new degree
of decision-making for consumers.
Whether or not consumers are ready to take over the
reins is still questionable, but that isn’t slowing down
employers’ adoption of consumer-driven options.
Many have moved towards defined contribution
health insurance, whereby the company gives
employees a set contribution toward coverage and
the worker then picks a health plan among several
options. In fact, a 2012 Employer Health Plan Study
by J.D. Power and Associates found that 47 percent
of employers say they “definitely will” or “probably will”
switch to a defined contribution health care plan.
Are consumers
ready to be in the driver’s seat?
When it comes to matters of financial security or
health care, it’s fair to say that many consumers
would prefer for someone to take care of it for them,
while another segment is simply not equipped to take
over ownership. In fact, more than half (54 percent)
of workers responding to the 2013 Aflac study said “I
would prefer not to be more in control over my health
insurance expenses and options because I will not
have the time or knowledge to effectively manage
it.” The reality is that for most workers, despite being
given more health insurance options to choose
from, 89 percent typically choose the same benefits
year over year.
Workers often find educating
themselves about health insurance daunting
– and, as Aflac research uncovered, there is
much to be learned.
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