Roundtable CEOs Survey Health Insurance Coverage and Costs and Establish Baseline

Organization Establishes Baseline for Comparisons with Future Benefit and Cost Plan

SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT – The chief executives of Vermont’s leading businesses conducted a survey to gather relevant information regarding health care benefits and costs in order to contribute meaningfully to the current discussion around reform measures.  The Vermont Business Roundtable engaged Public Assets Institute to assist with the development of the survey and the analysis and reporting of the results. The survey, which was completed between October and December 2011 and enjoyed a response rate of 80 percent, was released today by Vermont Business Roundtable Chair Steve Voigt, CEO, King Arthur Flour and President Lisa Ventriss.

According to Roundtable President, Lisa Ventriss, “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. The findings should be of much interest to policymakers throughout Vermont.”

Chair Steve Voigt said “Our motivation for conducting the survey was to help our CEO members understand if forthcoming reform proposals were going to be additive or detrimental to what are our current policies and practices. Information regarding the amount that member businesses spend on health insurance in total and as a percentage of payroll; the percentage of their employees that are covered; how much employees pay for their coverage; and, the value of the insurance plans that are offered will help us understand those potential impacts.”

Key among the survey findings:

  • 95 percent of Roundtable members offer either “Gold” or “Platinum” insurance plans, where the employer covers, respectively, at least 80 or 90 percent of the policyholders’ average annual health care expenditures. The weighted average is 92 percent.
  • As a group, the participating employers spent roughly $177 million in the most recent fiscal year on health insurance premiums; representing a median employer cost of 10.1 percent of payroll, regardless of size.
  • Results showed that while both enrollment and richness of plans correlate to costs, they are in fact weak predictors of costs. The health and wellness of the employees is the strongest indicator of costs.

The complete report and copy of the questionnaire may be found on the Roundtable’s website at https://vtroundtable.org/library/.

The Roundtable is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization of 118 CEOs of Vermont’s top private and nonprofit employers, representing geographic diversity and all major sectors of the Vermont economy, with an aggregate, global economic impact of $292 billion, over $1.8 billion in corporate philanthropy, and employing more than 10 percent of the state’s workforce. The Roundtable is committed to sustaining a sound economy and preserving Vermont’s unique quality of life by studying and making recommendations on statewide public policy issues.

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