Friday, June 14, 2013

Defined contribution health plans come to companies with 51-99 employees

The hottest thing in health insurance—the defined contribution plan—is now available to organizations with 51-99 employees in Pennsylvania and other states across the country.

Last year UnitedHealthcare was the first health insurer to begin offering defined contribution health plans to Pennsylvania employers with 50 or fewer employees. Effective June 1st, we expanded our offering to include Pennsylvania groups with 51-99 employees.

The plan, called Multi-Choice, includes access to UnitedHealthcare’s strong national and local provider network which consists of over 33,000 providers, over 200 hospitals across the state of Pennsylvania and all hospitals in Western Pennsylvania including the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center facilities and West Penn Allegheny Health System. The newly expanded plan also includes additional broker distribution and the ability to add specialty benefits, such as dental, life and vision, to standard health plans.

With defined contribution health care, the employer gives employees a defined amount for the health benefit and a menu of many health care plans from which to choose. Depending on the plan selected, the employee will pay more or less of a premium. Many health insurers are going to the defined contribution model, because it gives employees more choice without raising the cost to employer.

The flexibility of this plan design makes offering health insurance more cost-effective and financially predictable. It also gives small businesses parity with their larger competitors when it comes to this important employee benefit, something they’ve never had before. In a defined contribution world, it’s easy for people to address the specific health needs of their family.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it over and over again, now more than ever, everyone involved in the health care industry has a vested interest in making our health care system simpler and smarter – allowing for a better patient experience, delivering the best possible outcome and reducing the overall costs of care. An innovative product like Multi-Choice is just one of the many ways we at UnitedHealthcare are doing our part.


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