American Workers on an Uphill Road with Consumer-Driven Health Care

American Workers on an Uphill Road with Consumer-Driven Health Care

3 Pages · 2013 · 228 KB · English

Columbus, GA – April 24, 2013 – American workers are facing a sea of change when it comes to health Also, in 2013, FORTUNE magazine included Aflac on its list

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American Workers on an Uphill Road with Consumer Driven Health Care New Aflac survey reveals employees are not prepared for increased costs, may not want control and lack education Columbus, GA – April 24 , 2013 – American workers are facing a sea of change when it comes to health care options With rising health care costs and reform legislation, the traditional method of simply picking a comprehensive insurance plan from among a few options offered by an employer will soon be a thing of the past But will consumers be prepared to take greater control, handle rising costs and make sound decisions? Not according to the 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report (AWR) which found that:  Nearly three quarters (72 percent) of the workforce have not heard of the phrase “consumer driven health care;”  More than half (54 percent) of workers would prefer not to have greater control over their insurance options because they do n’t have the time or knowledge to effectively manage it;  62 percent of workers believe the medical costs they will be responsible for will increase, while only 23 percent are savin g money for potential increases;  75 percent of workers said they think thei r employer would educate them about changes to their health care coverage as a result of reform, but only 13 percent of employers said educating employees about health care reform was important to their organization These findings are from the third annu al Aflac WorkForces Report, a national study released today that analyzes the trends, attitudes, and use of employee benefits The 2013 AWR results are from an online survey of nearly 1,900 benefits decision makers and more than 5,200 US workers, conduct ed in January 2013 by Research Now and released by Aflac, the No 1 provider of supplemental and guaranteed renewable insurance in the United States “It may be referred to as ‘consumer driven health care,’ but in actuality, consumers aren’t the ones driving these changes, so it’s no surprise that many feel unprepared,” said Audrey Boone Tillman, executive vice president of Corporate Services at Aflac “The bottom line is if consumers aren’t educated about the full scope of their options, they risk making costly mistakes without a financial back up plan” New Decisions Daunting As consumers are confronted with more health care decisions, the 2013 Aflac report found that many workers already find health insurance decisions daunting and have reservations about taking greater control Five out of 10 (53 percent) fear that they may not adequately manage their coverage, leaving their families less protected than they are now Not only have they been historically complacent, with 89 percent admitting they choose the same benefits year over year, but many don’t understand the options provided to them The 2013 Aflac WorkForces Report found that among consumers:  32 percent are not very/not at all knowledgeable about health savings accounts (HSA)  Th ree out of four (76 percent) are not very/not at all knowledgeable about federal and stat e health care e xchanges  Almost half (49 percent) are not very/not at all knowledgeable about health reimbursement accounts  25 percent are not very/not at all knowledgeable about flex spending accounts (FSA) — more — Even though educating employees is a l ow priority, helping workers learn how to effectively manage their health care choices presents an opportunity for employers to demonstrate they care about their employees, and to curb potential absenteeism, low morale and low productivity Cost Shifting: Facing the Facts To control their health care expenses, businesses are choosing new

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