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UBA Health Plan Survey: Plans popular with employers aren’t always tops with employees

The UBA Health Plan Survey tracks plans offered by region as well as enrollment by region. From a prevalence perspective, preferred provider organization (PPO) plans are most prevalent in the Central U.S., though they generally dominate nationwide, except in the Northeast where consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) are most prevalent.

2015 Health Plan Survey Plan Prevalence by Region

From an enrollment perspective, PPO plans have the greatest enrollment in the Central U.S. The Southeast and Northeast saw the biggest increase in PPO enrollment (7% and 8% respectively) this year. Enrollment in health maintenance organizations (HMOs) is down across most of the country, but is on the rise in the Central and Western U.S. Point of service (POS) plan enrollment has stayed virtually flat from last year. CDHP enrollment is highest in the Northeast U.S. at 29.2%, an increase of 11.5% over 2014. But the Southeast saw nearly a 23% increase in CDHP enrollment from 2014. Conversely, the North Central U.S. saw a 23.5% decrease in CDHP enrollment.

2015 Health Plan Survey Enrollment by Plan Type by Region

Sometimes, plans offered by employers are also equally desired by employees; in other words, what is offered most is also what employees opt to enroll in the most. For example, CDHPs and PPO plans are the most prevalent plans in the Northeast and also the top two plans employees enroll in. But it is interesting to note that those employees flip the order of their preference, favoring PPO plans more than CDHPs, while CDHPs are most popular among employers. Employers and employees in the Southeast, North Central and Central states mostly see eye-to-eye when prioritizing PPO plans, followed by CDHP plans as a distant second. In the West, employees enroll in PPO plans at a far greater rate than the prevalence rate of these plans among employers.

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