Pew Report Suggests Reducing Public Employee Healthcare Plan “Richness”

As reported in Governing, a new report from the Pew Charitable Trusts analyzes state employee healthcare plan costs and focuses in on the need to go beyond traditional reforms to reduce overall plan benefits.

But the Pew report notes that because of demographics and differences in health-care pricing, there’s only so much states can do to control costs through policy changes. What employers can control is plan richness. States cover an average of 92 percent of all costs, and 48 percent of employees are in plans that don’t have deductibles.

To control this richness, states have not only considered making employees pay more toward their premiums but also adjusting cost-sharing of services. Cost-sharing of services usually means employers offer higher deductible plans or pay less for certain services, leading employees to avoid high-cost procedures and medications as well as excessive use of the emergency room.

For more information, see the full story from Governing and our previous post on Conduit Street, State of Maryland’s New Employee Health Insurance Contract Puts Emphasis on Wellness.