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7 in 10 Workers Await Benefits Info as Deadline Nears

Chelsea Rice, for HealthLeaders Media, August 30, 2013

Mary Setter, a benefits broker with 29 years of experience in the industry, says many employers are still playing catch-up with their plan designs because of delays on the insurance end.

"On the small employer group side, exchanges haven't released their rates yet. So small employers haven't gotten rate information yet, and larger employers are probably just getting their renewal rate information. We're still waiting to get all the underwriting completed," said Setter in an interview.

Setter is the senior vice president of employee benefits and carrier relations at Marsh & McLennan Agency in Minneapolis. "In the mid-market employer group, July and August is when we get renewal information from insurance carriers, but for smaller carriers we haven't even gotten that renewal data yet, so that's part of the delay."

"With little notice, education, and coverage options to help guide and support [employees] during this season, employers themselves may be at risk of a highly dissatisfied workforce," said Michael Zuna, Aflac's executive vice president and chief marketing officer in a news release about the survey.  

"Employees don't really understand healthcare reform, and they don't understand the intricacies of their own plan[s], so we're seeing a lot more requests on our part to come out and educate employees on what the exchanges are potentially going to look like," says Setter.

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1 comments on "7 in 10 Workers Await Benefits Info as Deadline Nears"


John C Parker, RHU, LTCP (8/31/2013 at 5:40 PM)
The DOL's initial model letter for employers to use to inform all employees about the availability in their state, on Oct 1st, of the Health Insurance Marketplace. The initial model was a proposal and the DOL quickly heard about various issues. e.g. many employers could not project the value of the plan they will use in 2014. Guidance has been released informally in the last week or so thus employers, who know about the requirement will be getting them to employees. The words in the letter do not have to be the same as the model and it will be possible for a small employer to use a one page letter.