Business

  • Private Exchange Adoption Continues To Grow

    Employers are increasingly turning to private exchanges for their full-time employees, as evidenced by the recent announcement by Starbucks about making the switch. While large employers have been slower to adopt private exchanges than small- to medium-size employers, according to Craig Jannino, group exchange leader for Willis Towers Watson, this has more to do the […]

  • U.S. Employers Expect Health Care Costs to Increase 5% in both 2016 and 2017

    According to the Willis Towers Watson 21st annual Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey, U.S. employers expect their health care costs to increase 5% this year and next with plan changes, and 6% without plan changes. These increases are at historical lows, but slightly higher than in 2015 and still more than twice the […]

  • Out-of-Pocket Prescription Drug Costs for Seniors Rising Even Higher in 2016

    A trend toward coinsurance over copays results in Medicare beneficiaries paying higher out-of-pocket prices for their prescription drugs. It also makes it harder for seniors to predict costs because drug prices fluctuate. Unlike copays, which are flat rates, coinsurance rates are based on a percentage of total costs. Coinsurance was previously limited to higher cost […]

  • Public Exchange “A Viable Option” For Pre-65 Retirees

    According to new data from Willis Towers Watson, 56 percent of U.S. employers are confident that the public exchange will be “a viable option” for pre-65 retirees within the next two years. The data comes from the 2016 Willis Towers Watson Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey, which gathered responses from 467 employers representing 12.1 […]

  • Employer Interest in Narrow Networks To Control Cost Increasing

    A growing number of health insurers are implementing so-called “narrow networks” of medical services providers to control costs. But while about half of all plans on public exchanges had narrow networks in 2014, it has taken longer for employers to embrace them. According to Trevis Parson, chief actuary of Health and Group Benefits for Willis […]

  • When Care Comes To You: Home Visits Save Medicare Money

    The doctor is in. But in this case, “in” could mean in your home. A recent article in Kaiser Health News highlighted the first-year results of a pilot program, called Independence at Home, run by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) to test whether in-home care provided by 17 medical practices for Medicare beneficiaries […]

  • Health Care Consumers Happy With Shopping Experience, Survey Finds

    A popular notion in some circles is that many people who purchase health insurance on public exchanges are unhappy or dissatisfied with their experiences. Three recent reports refute that contention: one from Deloitte, one from the Commonwealth Fund, and one from Kaiser Health News. According to John Barkett, director of policy affairs for Willis Towers […]

  • Tech Company LivingSocial Switches to OneExchange

    LivingSocial, a company that provides a global marketplace for online deals on a variety of services and activities, has partnered with Willis Towers Watson’s OneExchange, a private health insurance exchange, to provide health benefits to its active employees. The company previously worked with another exchange vendor but “costly problems and rising employee dissatisfaction with benefits […]

  • Employer Interest in Narrow Networks To Control Cost Increasing

    A growing number of health insurers are implementing so-called “narrow networks” of medical services providers to control costs. But while about half of all plans on public exchanges had narrow networks in 2014, it has taken longer for employers to embrace them. According to Trevis Parson, chief actuary of Health and Group Benefits for Willis […]

  • Telemedicine Kiosks Bring The Doctor To The Workplace

    A recent article in Kaiser Health News chronicled the rise of telemedicine and the convenience and access it gives to employees who might otherwise miss work for doctor’s appointments or to visit urgent care clinics. Telemedicine kiosks enable doctors to take blood pressure and perform other basic functions remotely. Employers are increasingly embracing the kiosks […]