Health Insurers Expect More Employers To Self-Fund


Health insurance executives expect U.S. employers to increasingly self-fund their group health insurance plans as a result of the Affordable Care Act, according to a survey released today by Munich Health North America, a subsidiary of Munich Re, one of the world’s largest reinsurers.

Among those surveyed, 82 percent have experienced a growing level of interest among employers in self-funding their group health insurance plans over the past 12 months, with nearly one-third (32 percent) stating that interest has increased “significantly.”

“The trend towards self-funding stems from employers’ desire to maintain a level of flexibility and control in the design and financing of their employees’ health benefits,” said Richard Phillips, President of Munich Health North America’s Reinsurance Division. “A properly designed self-funded health plan can allow a company to directly reap the benefits of their cost containment and wellness activities as opposed to having to pay a monthly premium based on an arbitrary set of rating restrictions. As companies struggle with the growing cost of providing quality benefits, we expect self-funding to continue to grow in popularity.”

Health insurance organizations expect to see growth in their self-funded or Administrative Services Only (ASO) portfolios as a result of this trend towards self-funding. Of those surveyed, nearly 7 in 10 (69 percent) plan on growing their self-funding or ASO portfolios over the next year.

Munich Health surveyed 326 executives representing health plans, health maintenance organizations and disease management firms, as well as health insurance brokers and agents, regarding the extent to which the Affordable Care Act will influence decision-making related to employee health benefits.

The survey was conducted by Munich Health during the period of March 6, 2013 to March 11, 2013. Executives representing a broad range of health care services and solutions providers were surveyed through in-person and online polling. In-person surveying was conducted at the Munich Health North America Symposium 2013, held in Scottsdale, Arizona from March 17-19, 2013.