Monthly Archives: October 2011

Large and small group employers very similar

Although they differ significantly in terms of volatility of medical costs from one year to the next, the workforce of small and large employers share more similarities than differences.  Based on a health risk survey of over 6,000 consumers with … Continue reading

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2012 Medicare Advantage Ratings are out

CMS released Medicare Advantage rates on October 12th prior to the 2012 open enrollment period.  The results show a modest increase in the number of 4.5 and 5 star Medicare Advantage plans for 2012. Downloading the plan ratings data and … Continue reading

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Definition of an “engaged” health care consumer

Engaged consumers often use more health resources, but heavy users of health care services are not necessarily engaged.  Consumers often self-describe themselves as “engaged” in their healthcare if they are a heavy user of health care services, but the truly … Continue reading

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Ancillary benefits as differentiators

In a controlled, regulated selling environment like state health insurance exchanges, it will be difficult for health plans to differentiate themselves.  Brand and price will be two of the most powerful differentiators.  Quality / satisfaction ratings are another way to … Continue reading

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Consumers are ready to buy in exchanges, but employers are less certain

DSS has conducted a number of studies with consumers and employers that simulate purchasing health insurance through an exchange or competitive market.  Whether currently insured or not, consumers consistently find health insurance coverage that is acceptable to themselves and their … Continue reading

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Brand becoming more important under reform

To compete in the consumer market, more than brand awareness is needed to differentiate one carrier from another.   For years, the largest employers have received more personal attention from carriers and have had access to more customized products and … Continue reading

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