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Sana Announces Results of 2021 State of Employer Health Insurance Report

  • Findings quantify the detrimental effects of high costs on SMBs; 54% of those surveyed are unsatisfied with their health insurance plans
  • 41% of respondents indicated their health insurance rates had increased 5 to 10% over the past year
  • Demand is increasing for mental health (including virtual mental health) to be a part of the employer benefits package

AUSTIN, Texas–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sana, a health care company that provides Fortune 500-level health benefits to small businesses at affordable prices, has announced the release of its 2021 State of Employer Health Insurance Report, a survey of health insurance decision-makers at small and medium businesses. The inaugural Sana survey engaged over 1,000 health insurance decision-makers at small and medium sized businesses.

Designed to address challenges these decision-makers face when managing employee insurance plans, the survey found that many employers have incorrect assumptions about health insurance processes. Many are also unsatisfied with their current course of action for their employees’ health insurance benefits.

These survey results set a benchmark for industry trends and help employers and employees understand how their health care costs stack up to national norms. Key findings include:

  • 87% of health care decision-makers think they are locked into their health insurance contract when it is very rarely the case. If a business is unhappy with its insurance company, it can switch to a new one at any time. The monopolistic nature of health insurance, being dominated by 1-2 companies in any given state, is likely why small businesses don’t switch even when their rates keep increasing year over year.
  • 40% of individuals surveyed haven’t switched health insurance carriers in over five years. If small businesses aren’t at least looking around for other options, they are likely leaving money on the table.
  • Employees want better mental health benefits. Mental health benefits are taking up a small percentage of health care spending and lag behind dental and vision. Still, the demand is increasing for mental health (including virtual mental health) to be a part of the employer benefits package.

“Small businesses are seeing more and more of their operating budgets depleted by the rising cost of health care,” said Will Young, CEO and co-founder of Sana. “Between industry jargon, misleading myths, and a lack of transparency, it can be difficult to navigate the world of health insurance and employee benefits. We wanted to conduct a survey to better understand the challenges businesses face when it comes to providing health care to the 50% of Americans that depend on their employer health plans.”

To access the full 2021 State of Employer Health Insurance Report, click here.

About Sana

Sana provides small businesses with Fortune 500-level health care at prices they can afford. Through value-based care, the Sana Care ecosystem of world-class providers, direct primary care, and more, Sana is reducing the cost of high-quality care. Sana is making it easier than ever to administer benefits for employers and offers simplified health plans and top-notch customer service to employees. Sana is providing a total health care solution to small businesses that drives down costs while simultaneously delivering an exceptional quality of care.

Contacts

Treble
Sarah Armstrong

[email protected]

More Employers Opt Out of Traditional Group Health Plans

Cost-Controlling ICHRAs and Tools for Deploying Them Change the Benefits Game


DALTON, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–In the face of rising health care costs, more employers in Georgia are moving away from offering group health insurance plans and are saving up to 15% in the process. Contributing to this trend is the introduction of Individual Coverage Health Reimbursement Arrangements (ICHRAs), a new type of health reimbursement arrangement that helps control employee health care costs and offers more flexibility.

ICHRAs (pronounced IK-rahs) became available in January 2020 through changes in IRS regulations that allow employers subject to Affordable Care Act requirements to reimburse employees tax-free dollars for the health plans of their choosing. A recent study found that 15% of surveyed employers concerned about budget constraints intend to adopt ICHRAs in 2022 and beyond1.

A second major driver behind the trend is new tools and technology that are easing the transition to this new health care solution. Digital platforms such as HRASimple reduce the administrative burdens of managing a group health plan and assist companies in executing an ICHRA.

“We were spending more and more each year on group health insurance for our employees… and managing the budget for this benefit was becoming more of a hassle than a benefit,” says Julie Soekoro, CFO of Hamilton Health Care System in Dalton, GA. “HRASimple eliminated the angst of annual renewal increases… and stabilized my budget… on top of saving our organization over 7 million dollars in 2021, which saved a lot of jobs during the pandemic. For our organization, it was a genuine win-win for all involved.”

About HRASimple

HRASimple is an ICHRA administrator with a powerful web-based platform that reduces the in-house burdens of managing a group health plan. HRASimple was one of the first in the nation to administer an ICHRA for an employer with more than 2,000 employees. HRASimple is a HealthOne Alliance, LLC company. HealthOne Alliance is a founding member of the HRA Council (HRACouncil.org).

1 Willis Towers Watson. “Employers Express Interest in Individual Coverage Reimbursement Arrangements.”

Contacts

Tom Pitcherella

[email protected]

Symetra’s New Critical Illness Insurance Offers Employers Expanded, Flexible Coverage Options to Help Protect Employees at Every Life Stage

BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#CriticalIllness–Symetra Life Insurance Company, a national provider of employee benefits, has introduced an innovative new Critical Illness (CI) insurance product with a flexible plan design that gives employers the ability to tailor coverage to the needs of their specific workforce. Symetra Critical Illness offers a unique ‘life stage’ approach: In addition to coverages typically found in a Critical Illness policy — cancer, heart attack, stroke — it offers optional benefits for those starting or growing their family, for childhood diagnoses such as autism or development delay, and for conditions that appear later in life, such as dementia, allowing employees of all ages to get the financial support they need to navigate major life events.


Critical illness insurance provides financial support by paying a lump-sum benefit that can be used for anything—from medical bills to childcare—after a covered diagnosis.

“Flexibility is a key feature of our new CI policy, allowing employers to truly customize their plan design. Its broader focus on entire-life care brings new conditions to the table — like infertility and significant mental illness — that have not previously been contemplated under the critical illness umbrella. We think the ability to provide coverage that is meaningful and relevant to a wide range of age groups in today’s multi-generational workforce offers a competitive advantage to employers as they seek to attract and retain talent,” said Todd Dzen, assistant vice president for product management at Symetra.

Symetra Critical Illness insurance offers broad definitions for medical conditions with coverage for hundreds of potential diseases. Benefits start with a ‘core’ or ‘enhanced core’ plan of standard covered conditions which employers can expand on by adding preset ‘modules’ to create a unique set of benefits for their group. The 10 modules range from family planning to childhood conditions to autoimmune diseases to mental illness. Each module groups similar conditions within that category, which policyholders may add a la carte style to offer more robust coverage.

Symetra’s new group critical illness plan standardly offers:

  • Flexible premium rates
  • No benefit waiting period
  • No preexisting conditions
  • Portability and continuation options
  • Additional occurrence benefit

For more information about Symetra Critical Illness Insurance, including state availability, contact your Symetra Benefits representative.

Symetra offers group life, disability, absence management and stop loss insurance coverage. In addition to critical illness, its Select Benefits voluntary product suite includes accident and hospital indemnity insurance, as well as GapAssist, a package of accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity benefits designed to complement any other plan, including major medical coverage paired with an HSA.

About Symetra

Symetra Life Insurance Company is a subsidiary of Symetra Financial Corporation, a diversified financial services company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and independent financial professionals and insurance producers. For more information, visit www.symetra.com.

Important Information

Critical illness policies, insured by Symetra Life Insurance Company, 777 108th Avenue NE, Suite 1200, Bellevue, WA 98004, are not available in all U.S. states or any U.S. territory. Covered conditions may vary by state. They are designed to provide benefits at a preselected, fixed dollar amount for covered conditions. They are not a replacement for major medical or other comprehensive coverage, and do not satisfy the minimum essential coverage requirements of the Affordable Care Act. Base policy form number is SBC-045301/21.

Coverage may be subject to exclusions, limitations, reductions and termination of benefit provisions.

SYC-1130

Contacts

Diana McSweeney

(425) 256-6167

[email protected]ymetra.com

HRASimple Helps Employers Take Full Advantage of ICHRA

Individual Coverage HRAs Give Employers a New Tool to Combat Rising Costs

DALTON, Ga.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–As group health insurance premiums continue to rise throughout Georgia and the nation, employers large and small are turning to an innovative new solution to lower their costs.

ICHRA (pronounced ICK-rah) stands for Individual Coverage HRA – a federal program first introduced in late 2018. ICHRA helps organizations offer an alternative way to provide health insurance. Many employers are reaping savings in the 10-20% range.

Employers are turning to HRASimple to help them set up and administer their own ICHRA. In addition to financial savings, these organizations are reducing the time and hassle of choosing and managing a traditional group health insurance plan.

HRASimple lets employers fund individual employee accounts with tax-free dollars. In addition, the powerful, web-based platform helps employees choose the individual health plan that’s right for them and makes premium payments each month on their behalf. Employees use their tax-free funds to pay for qualified medical expenses.

According to Mark Mixer, CEO of HRASimple, “ICHRA is a powerful tool that employers should consider. HRASimple is helping organizations take full advantage of ICHRA benefits for employers and employees alike. It’s a win-win.”

About HRASimple

HRASimple is a powerful, web-based platform that enables employers to administer their own ICHRA. Organizations save on average 15% compared to group health insurance. HRASimple was the first in the nation to administer an ICHRA for an employer with more than 2,000 employees. HRASimple is helping Hamilton Health Care System save over $7.2M in 2021 (a 20% savings). HRASimple is a HealthOne company. HRASimple is a HealthOne company which is a founding member of the HRA Council (HRACouncil.org).

Contacts

Tom Pitcherella

[email protected]cy

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Gay/Bi Men: Sexually transmitted diseases – They happen

The effectiveness of safer sex practices for reducing the rate of HIV infection is one of the gay community’s great success stories. Safer sex is effective in reducing the risk of receiving and transmitting HIV. However, studies over the last few years have demonstrated the return of many unsafe sex practices.

As a gay man who was a teenager when HIV/AIDS became prominent, it has always been a looming thought. Medicines and treatments have come so far and luckily today it’s not an instant death sentence it once was. Since my divorce almost two years ago I’ve started to use PrEP to help prevent getting infected with HIV. Over my life so far, I’ve had a couple minor sexually transmitted diseases. PrEP does not prevent or lessen your chances of acquiring sexually transmitted diseases beyond HIV.

Currently not only do I get the required testing every three months while taking PrEP, but I also get tested for every sexually transmitted disease. Getting the blood work done every three months is a little nerve racking knowing I’m at high risk, very active and will admit to rarely using condoms. I’ve recently moved to Fort Lauderdale where all I’ll say is OMG – it’s off the chain.

Why am I sharing this with you? Because I’ve heard from so many guys that they don’t take PrEP, don’t use condoms and go from vanilla to piggy in two blinks of an eye.

For most, it comes down to:

  • Feeling uncomfortable talking about PrEP and sexually transmitted diseases with their current primary doctor.
  • Lack of funds to pay for co-pays.
  • Not having health insurance to cover a good portion of the costs.
  • Their health insurance deductible very high and it’s a cost issue to reach full deductible in a year timeframe.
  • Lack of knowledge or apathy.

An Option for Access to Healthcare

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to pick up your phone, or sit at your computer and discuss your health concerns with a Registered Nurse and/or Doctor who can diagnose, order lab testing and prescribe medication all at pre-negotiated low rates? Find out more about the OutBüro Care+Plan.

Other Sexually Transmitted Diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) occur at a high rate among sexually active gay men. Most known STD infections have easy and effective treatments available (e.g., syphilis, gonorrhea, chlamydia, pubic lice, anal papilloma)

HPV The human papillomavirus (HPV), which causes anal and genital warts, is often downplayed as an unsightly inconvenience. However, HPV infections may play a role in the increased rates of anal cancers among gay men. Gay and bisexual men are estimated to be 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men. While treatments for HPV do exist, recurrences of the warts and the rate at which the infection can be spread between partners are very high. Certain populations (including gay and bisexual men, people with weak immune systems, and people with HIV/AIDS) are also at higher risk for some HPV-related health problems. There is no doubt that safer sex reduces the risk of STDs; prevention of these infections through safer sex is key.