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16 Candles

Sixteenth Iowa Employer Benefits StudyWe have just launched our annual Iowa Employer Benefits Study©. As with all previous studies, I’m looking forward to this year’s survey for the following important reasons:

• This will be the 16th Study conducted since we started this particular survey in 1999. Though I would never compare this ‘baby’ to my two beautiful daughters, it sure has evolved considerably since inception!

• Two new modules of questions will be added in this year’s survey.

1.   Affordable Care Act (ACA) – This module will address whether Iowa employers are using healthcare exchanges (marketplaces) — either public or private. If not, we’ll determine whether they plan to offer health coverage through some type of marketplace in the future. We will also find out whether employers are using a Defined Contribution approach for health coverage or offering it as part of a cafeteria plan.

Along with many other ACA-related questions, we will learn whether employers plan to:

  • Add a spousal surcharge
  • Require an employee’s spouse to get coverage through their own employer
  • Adopt a value-based insurance design for health coverage
  • Offer tiered-provider networks to promote high-value providers
  • Eliminate health coverage for all employees
  • Eliminate health coverage for part-time employees
  • Institute a wellness program
  • Add wellness rewards or penalties

2.   In our 2013 Study, we asked Iowa employers to rate hospitals and physicians on 11 performance indicators using a 10-point scale. In addition, employers were asked to rate how much they ‘trust’ hospitals and physicians. In this year’s survey, we are going one step further. We are inviting employers to rate which of the 12 performance indicators are most important to them. From this, we will prioritize which of the 12 indicators are most important from the employer perspective.

As with the past 15 Studies, we will continue to ask our core questions about the benefit components being offered by Iowa employers. New information gained from this survey will be reflected in our Lindex Online Iowa Benefits Benchmarking tool. The 2014 results should be available in late August/early September. As always, our intent is to keep our annual Study both fresh and relevant within the changing world of employee benefits.

If your organization is randomly selected to participate in this year’s Study, we highly encourage you to share in our celebration by participating in this important survey. 

I always take great delight in adding yet another candle to our cake!

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