Texas Employer Health Benefits Survey Finds Employers Focused on Engagement, Wellness and Healthy Living Initiatives

 Texas Employer Health Benefits Survey Finds Employers Focused on Engagement,
                   Wellness and Healthy Living Initiatives

According to the Texas Business Group on Health Texas employers are
encouraging enrollment in CDHPs and promoting consumer health awareness and
responsibility

PR Newswire

DALLAS, March 20, 2013

DALLAS, March 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Texas employers are increasingly
sharing accountability and decision-making with employees when it comes to
health care, according to a survey of more than 70 large and mid-size
employers who provide health benefits for more than 1 million people across
the state and nationally. Conducted by the non-profit Texas Business Group on
Health (TBGH), the research provides insight into new strategies being adopted
by employers to improve employee health and productivity and manage increasing
health-related costs through plan design, cost-sharing and employee
engagement.

The survey also found that employers are increasingly turning to
high-deductible Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) and using strategic
communications initiatives to provide members with new tools and resources to
engage and empower them to actively choose healthy lifestyles and make savvy,
knowledge-based healthcare decisions.

"In this transition period of health care reform, our survey makes it clear
that Texas employers are not sitting on the sidelines waiting for instruction
or for others to lead the way into the new health care environment," said
Marianne Fazen, TBGH president and CEO. "Instead, they are taking diligent
steps to help their employees get and stay healthy and obtain high quality,
cost-effective care when they need it."

Survey findings include:

  oHealth Maintenance Organization (HMO) enrollment remains very low among
    Texas employers, at less than 1% in 2013, and participation in Indemnity,
    Point-of-Service and Exclusive Provider Organizations will drop
    precipitously and account for less than 6% of total covered lives.
  oPreferred Provider Organization (PPO) and CDHPs will absorb the migrating
    plan members, with CDHPs growing in both numbers and percentage of total
    enrollees (from 18.5% in 2012 to 24.7% in 2013) as more employers adopt
    these account-based high deductible plans and encourage enrollment.
  oWith increasing popularity of CDHPs, employers are focusing on employee
    engagement, wellness and healthy living as the most effective strategy to
    improve health and productivity, and control the rate of acceleration of
    medical costs.
  oDrug benefits comprise a significant portion of total medical expenses and
    many employers actively manage their pharmacy benefits to promote quality
    and cost-effective therapeutic treatment, most often with a preferred drug
    list, step therapy and prior authorization for certain drugs. In 2013
    almost 20% of surveyed employers will waive deductibles, co-pays and
    co-insurance to encourage treatment compliance for certain conditions.
  oEmployers continue to align incentives/penalties with employee
    participation in health education and wellness programs and are
    increasingly tying inducements to achievement of targeted health goals and
    behaviors, and also are expanding eligibility to dependents and
    non-covered employees.
  oEmployers are committed to adopting strategic wellness programs to improve
    the engagement, competence and accountability of individual employees, and
    plan to supplement print and email communications and on-site health fairs
    and screenings with less traditional engagement strategies, including
    'gamification', incorporating gaming features within wellness strategies
    to add fun and rewards for successful performance.
  oApproximately 70% of survey respondents reported a commitment from senior
    management and an adequate budget to execute an organization-wide
    comprehensive health/wellness program 2013; 85% expect to have such
    support by 2014.

About the Survey
TBGH designed the Texas Employers Benchmarking Survey: Health Benefits and
Wellness to identify perceptions, objectives and strategies regarding plan
design and wellness initiatives in light of current economic, political and
legislative environment. The online survey was conducted in October, 2012. The
70 participating employers provide health benefits for more than 1 million
people located throughout the region and reflect every North American Industry
Classification System (NAICS) industry category except Construction and Arts &
Entertainment. Funding for the survey was provided by Merck and Pfizer.

About the Texas Business Group on Health
The Texas Business Group on Health (TBGH), is a non-profit 501(c)(6) regional,
employer-led coalition that provides its members tools and information to help
them design and manage benefit programs that emphasize quality health care,
transparent pricing and system-wide accountability, starting with the
individual consumer. Members include Bexar County, Brundage Management Co.,
Cameron International, Cities of Austin, Odessa and San Antonio, H-E-B
Grocery, Houston Metropolitan Transit Authority, Jason's Deli, Southwest
Airlines, Texas Association of Counties, Travis County, USAA, Westlake
Chemical Corp., and 75 employer members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Business
Group on Health.

SOURCE Texas Business Group on Health

Website: http://www.tbgh.org/
Contact: Cary Conway, TBGH, cary@conwaycommunication.com, +1-972-731-9242