March 22, 2013

THE POWER OF THE POCKETBOOK:

To Save, Workers Take On Health-Cost Risk ( ANNA WILDE MATHEWS, 3/17/13, WSJ)

Last fall, two big employers embarked on a radical new approach to employee health benefits, offering workers a sum of money and allowing them to choose their health plans on an online marketplace. Now, the first results are in: Many workers were willing to choose lower-priced plans that required them to pay more out of their pockets for health care.

The new online marketplace, operated by consulting firm Aon AON +1.39% Hewitt, a unit of Aon PLC, was used by more than 100,000 employees of Sears Holdings Corp. SHLD +0.71% and Darden Restaurants Inc., DRI +1.31% as well as Aon itself, to pick plans for 2013. The employers gave workers a set contribution to use toward health benefits, and they could opt to pay more each month to get richer plans, or choose cheaper ones that might have bigger out-of-pocket fees, such as higher deductibles.


"When people are spending their own money, they tend to be more consumeristic," said Ken Sperling, Aon Hewitt's national health exchange strategy leader.

Posted by at March 22, 2013 5:23 PM
  

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