Leads for insurance agents may soon be changing, as a new report indicates that due to the uncertainty surrounding the state of healthcare, many employers are altering the ways in which they offer health insurance to their workers.
According to the 2012 Employer Health Plan Study released by J.D. Power and Associates, businesses are increasingly pursuing alternative means through which they offer employer-sponsored coverage, including defined contributions, vouchers and insurance exchanges. In addition, because costs have become an issue, some companies are no longer providing health insurance for their employees.
Overall, however, it appears as though defined contributions are getting more attention, as 47 percent of employers said they "probably will" or "definitely will" switch to a defined contribution model, which is often a less costly way of providing insurance to employees as the contributions are fixed and narrowly specified.
As for businesses' inclination to drop coverage altogether, 13 percent of fully insured employers and 14 percent of self-insured employers indicated they "definitely" or "probably" will not continue to offer employer-sponsored health plans to their workers.
Rick Millard, senior director of the the healthcare practice and J.D. Power and Associates, indicated that there's a lot of uncertainty in the air regarding healthcare, especially since part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has been put into effect.
"As the landscape of healthcare changes, employers face many choices in how to best serve their employees with competitive coverage at affordable costs," said Millard. "While some reports have predicted that a large number of employers might stop offering coverage, study findings indicate that a large majority won't walk away from offering coverage to their employees."
It's important for agents to fully review their health leads, so that in the event customers lose their employer-sponsored plans, they can get a policy that adequately replaces it.
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