Leapfrog: Employers Give Well being Plans a ‘C’ Letter Grade

Employers “stay disenchanted” of their well being plans, giving them a median letter grade of “C,” in keeping with a brand new survey.

The report was printed Thursday by The Leapfrog Group, a nationwide watchdog group of employers. The web survey was performed in the summertime and included responses from 114 executives of corporations, who have been requested to fee their well being plan on 4 key points: responsiveness of the well being plan to employer considerations, transparency in serving to employers and staff select suppliers, cost reform initiatives and worth methods. A few of the well being plans cited embrace Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealthcare and Blue Cross Blue Defend.

Members of the survey have been requested to present their well being plan an “A” via “F” letter grade. From these letter grades, Leapfrog calculated the well being plans’ common Grade Level Common (GPA) on a 4.0 scale. Well being plans acquired a 2.29 GPA in 2022, a slight lower from Leapfrog’s prior survey in 2020, which had a 2.57 GPA.

“This can be a considerably miserable outcome should you’re a well being plan,” stated Leah Binder, president and CEO of Leapfrog, throughout a Thursday panel. “I believe well being plans ought to be getting A’s. Actually I believe all of the well being plans themselves would wish to be getting A’s. That’s not what their purchasers are giving them.”

The survey additionally requested respondents to say in the event that they strongly agreed, agreed, disagreed or strongly disagreed with a sequence of traits with regard to their well being plan. The best ranked attribute was “provides staff easy accessibility to usable information,” with 59% of employers saying they agreed or strongly agreed with this assertion about their well being plan. The second highest ranked attribute was “cares about high quality of healthcare acquired,” with 57% saying they agreed. The bottom ranked traits have been “glad with different cost mannequin choices provided by plan” (29% agreeing) and “shares high quality and security information” (26% agreeing).

“We did see that employers understand important room for enchancment throughout all classes,” Binder stated. “There have been no excellent outcomes.”

There have been some important adjustments in responses in comparison with two years in the past. Within the 2020 report, 13% of respondents stated they agreed that their well being plan “shares high quality and security information,” in comparison with 26% in 2022. Moreover, 53% stated they disagreed with this assertion in 2020 and 35% stated they disagreed in 2022. When it got here to being “glad with different cost mannequin choices provided,” 26% stated they agreed in 2020, and 29% stated they agreed in 2022. There was an even bigger shift in employers disagreeing with this assertion, nonetheless, growing from 30% in 2020 to 41% in 2022.

To see how well being plans can enhance shifting ahead, Leapfrog analyzed the responses from employers who gave their well being plans an “A” or “B” grade. About 89% of those employers stated their well being plan “cares about high quality of healthcare acquired,” 84% stated “bettering worker well being is a precedence” for his or her well being plan and 79% stated their well being plan “provides staff easy accessibility to usable information.”

“You may see that for these employers who’re most favorable to their well being plan, they understand their well being plans overwhelmingly as caring concerning the high quality of healthcare acquired,” Binder stated.

Photograph: Tero Vesalainen, Getty Photos