Public Assets Institute > Policy Areas > Health Care > A look at Vermont employers’ health insurance offerings

A look at Vermont employers’ health insurance offerings

A new study of employers in the Vermont Business Roundtable shows the vast majority are providing health plans that do not shift a lot of cost onto their employees. Most VBR members offer either “gold” plans, in which employees cover between 10 and 20 percent of their annual health care costs, or “platinum” plans, where employees, on average, pay no more than 10 percent of the annual costs.

The study also looked at the employer’s cost, as a percentage of payroll, of the health care plans being offered by VBR members. Half of the members reported costs that were 10.1 percent of payroll or higher. VBR members employ more than 10 percent of Vermont’s work force.

The Vermont Business Roundtable conducted the study, which was based on data collection and analysis by Public Assets Institute, to help inform the public debate as Vermont moves forward with a plan to provide universal health care coverage in the state.

“This survey is important because for the first time we now have a baseline of data from an important segment of Vermont employers, including some of the state’s largest and most iconic private and not-for-profit sector companies, which can be used to evaluate the impacts of various health care reform proposals as they emerge over the coming months and years,” VBR President Lisa Ventriss said in a statement when the study was released. “The findings should be of much interest to policymakers throughout Vermont.”

The full study and other information about the Vermont Business Roundtable are available at the VBR website.

Posted by Jack Hoffman on March 20, 2012 at 4:59 pm

One Response to “A look at Vermont employers’ health insurance offerings”

  1. David Kreindler says:

    It is good to see business leaders approaching healthcare reform in this manner, rather than just by listening to the self-serving fear-mongering of their insurers or insurance plan administrators.

    While it makes sense that businesses would focus on the most easily measured costs (accruing to them) of the healthcare system, I hope they will not lose sight of three other things.

    First, the goal of our healthcare system (and its reform) is not to improve business. The goal is to care for the health of Vermonters. Every other consideration should be secondary. So, though we desire and expect that healthcare reform will be a good thing for business, we have to keep our priorities straight as we craft the details of Green Mountain Care.

    Second, businesses benefit from healthy communities. These benefits are much more difficult to account for than insurance premiums, actuarial values or even employee wellness, but they are real.

    Third, as members of our communities, businesses have responsibilities to those communities. So it is entirely reasonable to expect businesses to be required to contribute to financing a public healthcare system, regardless of the direct benefits to those businesses.

    We habitually expect little in the way of social responsibility from corporations. But the best business leaders can, at times, at least be visionary. I hope that those business leaders can lead the rest in sharing Vermonters’ vision of a healthcare system that provides the care that every Vermonter needs when they need it.