True Costs of Health Insurance Changes

New study finds shifting costs does not always save money.

In order to control increasing costs of health insurance, many employers are shifting more monetary responsibility onto the employees.  A new study released by the nonprofit Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) shows that shifting costs to employees doesn’t save employers money.

The three year study focused on the increased disability and absence-related lost productivity for 5,483 workers with rheumatoid arthritis (RA).  After reviewing the study, Dr. Thomas Parry, president of IBI, stated “employees appear to make medical decisions based on price and cost shifting, rather than evidence-based medicine”. The study found that employers lost money from increased disability and lost productivity.  Key findings of IBI’s study include:

·        higher out-of-pocket expenses reduce medical adherence

·        lower medication adherence is associated with higher short-term disability incidence and longer duration

·        higher short-term disability incidence and longer duration results in greater costs and lower productivity

·        to evaluate the true impact of management interventions, data must be integrated across all health-related benefits programs

IBI’s news release can be found at: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/new-integrated-benefits-institute-report-finds-pharmaceutical-cost-shifting-leads-to-increased-disability-and-lost-productivity-58359297.html