HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the leading provider of managed care market intelligence, reports that there has been a surge in the number of large employers moving to self-insured health plans, opting to bear the financial risk themselves. The data detailing which employers are currently offering self-insured plans, as well as fully-insured and other health plan benefit information, is revealed in the new release of Employer Vantage, a new database product containing information on employer health benefits.

"By shifting to self-insured plans, employers look at this as a way to cut costs and to more closely tailor benefits to their individual companies," states Sheri Sellmeyer, principal director of research and analysis for HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "In response, insurers have put more emphasis on this part of their business."

According to HealthLeaders-InterStudy enrollment data, the five largest health insurers in the country -- WellPoint, UnitedHealthGroup, Aetna, Kaiser Foundation Health Plans and Health Care Service Corporation -- have 38 percent of their members in self-insured PPO plans.

"Insurers have embraced the self-insured segment because it generates predictable fees rather than the varying risk of fully-insured members," states Sellmeyer. "In addition, we're seeing more self-insured employers wanting to contract directly with disease management companies or pharmacy benefit managers, rather than handling this all through an insurer for the same reasons."

An Internet Giant's Benefit Strategy

The new release of Employer Vantage contains over 57,000 unique employer profiles, all with a comprehensive listing of the benefit plans and contracted service providers for these plans. In examining the individual profile of Internet search engine Google, Employer Vantage reveals:

  -- Of its 5600 employees, the company had 3000 active participants within      its health and welfare plan, which is a mix of fully insured and self      insured plan offerings with insurers Blue Cross Blue Shield of      California, CIGNA of California and Kaiser Permanente.   -- The company also had a separate Flex Plan with over 840 participants      that includes health, dental and vision coverage and is a totally self-      insured plan.   -- As an insurance broker, Google utilizes the services of ABD Insurance.   

From a pharmaceutical company's perspective, this data provides the insurance companies who should be targeted to ensure favorable formulary position of their drug(s). Managed care organizations would utilize the broker information for targeting purposes and competitive intelligence, and various vendors, such as disease management companies, would evaluate all the insurers who make up the employer's plan for potential targets for their services.

"Employer Vantage is a comprehensive tool ideal for organizations who want to fine tune their direct-to-employer business strategies," states Joe Walsh, chief sales and marketing officer for HealthLeaders-InterStudy. "Containing profiles on 96% of the Fortune 1000 companies, this product will be a key resource in understanding how employer groups, large and small, nationally and locally, manage their employee health benefits."

HealthLeaders-InterStudy's own proprietary data on health plans and pharmacy benefits was integrated with several key data sources of Employer Vantage, most notably, the schedules A and C from the Department of Labor's Form 5500 filings. These filings detail the health and welfare plan information for employers with more than 100 employees, as well as the service provider contracts maintained by the employer - health plans, pharmacy benefit managers and insurance brokers, to name a few.

About Employer Vantage

Employer Vantage is an Access database organized into individual profiles of employers, health plans, PBMs and insurance brokers. The vast array of information includes:

  -- 57,000 unique employers with 100+ employees, including 96% of Fortune      1000 companies   -- Extensive benefits information, including health, life, dental and      pharmacy coverage   -- PBM relationships with employers and number of lives covered   -- Broker relationship and contact information    About HealthLeaders-InterStudy 

HealthLeaders-InterStudy is the authoritative source for managed care data, analysis, and news. For more information, please visit http://www.healthleaders-interstudy.com/.

All company, brand, or product names contained in this document may be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders.

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SOURCE: HealthLeaders-InterStudy

CONTACT: Kelly Morphy of HealthLeaders-InterStudy, +1-615-369-4818,
kmorphy@healthleaders-interstudy.com

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