ABM's Talent Management Committee polled 31 member companies earlier this year, asking for wide-ranging details on the healthcare benefits they offer, from plan types to prescriptions to spousal coverage to wellness programs. A closer look at the data reveals some key differences between the smaller and larger companies surveyed.
Premium Costs: Generally speaking, smaller companies did a better job of containing costs than larger ones. No small companies (under 100 employees) reported costs rising more than 10 percent; about a quarter saw costs rise 5 percent to 10 percent; another quarter saw costs rise 1 percent to 5 percent; and just under half reported decreases in premium costs. Of the large companies (over 250 employees), 45 percent reported premium costs rising more than 10 percent; about 35 percent saw costs rise 1 percent to 10 percent, and 20 percent saw costs actually decrease.
Funding: All small companies (under 100 employees) and 75 percent of medium to large companies (100 to 500 employees) are fully-funded / fully-insured, while 71 percent of the largest ones are self-funded / self-insured.
Plan Management: Smaller companies tend to use an insurance broker, paid on commissions, while larger ones tend to use a benefits consultant, paid a flat fee for service.
Calendar: All companies under 500 employees report soliciting new plan proposals every year or two. Almost three-quarters of the largest companies do so less frequently. Of those largest companies, 85 percent start their plan year in January. Of the other companies polled, a plurality (about 40 percent) start in January, but most are scattered across the calendar.
The full 50-page report, a members-only PDF, offers benchmarking data on plan types and costs, coverage specifics, dental benefits and more. For more information, visit the ABM Research Reports page or click to download the 2012 Healthcare Benefits Survey.
By Michael Moran Alterio