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Anticipating the Hockey Puck

2015 Iowa Employer Benefits Study“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.”
Wayne Gretzky, superstar NHL hockey player

Last week I received phenomenal news from our research firm, Data Point Research, indicating that Iowa employers have responded to our latest survey at a record pace! Our annual goal of randomly surveying at least 1,000 employers will be accomplished during the week of June 22 – a few weeks ahead of schedule. Kudos to Data Point!

Having at least 1,000 employers participate in our 17th survey is the next best thing to surveying EVERY employer in Iowa – but certainly a lot less expensive! Through our time-proven survey process, we are able to project highly statistically accurate results. This number of respondents allows us to update our Lindex Online® program providing the accuracy desired within the employer community.

As with each annual survey, we ask Iowa employers the core benefits-related questions, e.g.: health insurance components such as premium, employee contributions, deductibles and co-payments (office calls and Rx). Understanding these many key features is crucial to predict benefit trends in Iowa. This information calculates the Lindex® scores, which serve as Iowa’s employee-benefits index.

We also strive to learn much more from Iowa employers. Gaining insight into their challenges, preferences and behaviors can help us anticipate where that ‘hockey puck’ will eventually travel within the benefits-related healthcare ‘game.’ By asking these questions, like Gretzky, we’re better able to anticipate the direction of the puck.

So what additional modules did we include in this year’s survey? Here are three:

  1. Healthcare outcomes and challenges for employers – Using a six-point scale, employers rate the importance of five outcomes they hope to achieve and five challenges facing their organization.
  2. Employer views on the prevalence of medical errors performed within Iowa.
  3. Do employers see value in having more insurance companies competing for your business, and should healthcare provider systems become their own insurance company?

As in past years, we plan to have the results of this year’s study available by early September, generating both the summary report (Study) and the Lindex Online benchmarking tool. Needless to say, the month of August serves as my ‘tax season!’

As hockey superstar Gretzky also said, “You miss one hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.”

I couldn’t agree more!

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