Labor Day in a Pandemic: The Varnish of “Gold Standard” Employer Coverage is Wearing Thin

CHIRblog took a break for Labor Day, but in light of the holiday, we continue to think about problems workers face getting access to affordable health insurance. Employer plans are often touted as the “gold standard” in health insurance. But millions of workers with job-based plans are underinsured, facing high cost sharing and premiums, and the COVID-19 pandemic is exacerbating problems with inadequate coverage as well as insurance access. Continue reading

April Research Round Up: What We’re Reading

April showers bring May flowers, and plenty of health policy research. This month, CHIR’s Olivia Hoppe reviews studies on the burden of health care costs on families, the affordability of employer-sponsored insurance, the effects of hospital concentration on insurance premiums, and why Medicaid insurers hesitate to sell plans on the Affordable Care Act’s individual market. Continue reading

Complacency Slows Aggressive Approaches to Health Care Cost Containment: A View from Three Markets

Consolidation among hospitals and physician practices is driving a steady rise in health care costs. Employers who purchase insurance and the payers that negotiate on their behalf have a limited set of tools available to counter providers’ demands, but they have also displayed a complacency that has allowed prices to rise with little resistance. In a post for the Health Affairs blog, Sabrina Corlette, Jack Hoadley, and Katie Keith share findings from a series of market-level case studies on responses to provider consolidation. Continue reading

Large Employer Strategies to Combat Increasing Healthcare Costs: Trends in Direct Contracting, On-Site Clinics and More

Employers currently insure 155 million people, but many are finding it increasingly challenging to maintain this benefit in the face of rising costs. One of the primary drivers of these costs is high provider prices. Some employers are taking matters into their own hands by disrupting traditional modes of care delivery. CHIR’s Emily Curran takes look at some of the tactics that have been gaining traction among employers. Continue reading