Employer-sponsored health insurance has been in decline for more than 10 years, according to a report from the University of Michigan Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation in Ann Arbor.
“Many people are concerned that employers will drop employee health insurance as the Affordable Care Act fully kicks in, but the fact is, this has been happening for many years already,” said Marianne Udow-Phillips, director of CHRT.
“The bottom line is, consumers have been paying more for health coverage and employers have been dropping health coverage for more than a decade. These trends are happening independent of the Affordable Care Act,” Udow-Phillips said.
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Some major firms, like Walgreen, the drugstore chain, are giving those who qualify money to buy insurance on a private health exchange. In Cincinnati, General Electric is taking the opposite approach to reining in health care costs
One of the largest employers in the nation, it spends more than $2 billion a year offering coverage to 500,000 employees and retirees and their families. And it is using its considerable clout in places like this — where its giant aviation business gives it a major presence — to work directly with doctors and hospitals to improve care and reduce costs.
Over the last few years, G.E. has pushed for the creation of so-called medical homes, in which an individual medical practice closely coordinates a patient’s care by having access to all of the patient’s medical records.
In Cincinnati, about 118 doctors’ practices have converted to medical homes, and all five of the major health systems are making their primary care practices move in that direction. G.E. has also pushed for greater transparency of results.
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