Business Health Care Group sees lower cost of health care for members


According to new data produced by the Business Health Care Group, (BHCG), self-funded member organizations of the group saw a decrease in health care costs of 5.4 percent per health plan member when compared to 2005 base-year costs.
“We calculated what our self funded members were paying per employee per year over the last four years and compared it to what they were paying in 2005,” said Dianne Kiehl, executive director of the BHCG. “On average they are paying 5.4 percent less than what they were paying in 2005.”
According to Kiehl, the aggregate costs are taken before benefits are applied.
“Anyone can change their plan model to reduce costs and coverage,” Kiehl said. “These numbers are taken before employees pay their portion and before employers pay their portion; these are comparing raw costs to raw costs.”
According to Kiehl, BHCG members saw a 3.9 percent decrease in medical costs in 2009 which is about 13 percent less than the regional market trend.
“Most employers saw costs go up nearly 10 percent in 2009,” Kiehl said. “That accounts for the 13 percent difference.”
If you take this year’s decrease cumulative over the four years that translates into $92 million in savings for self funded member companies, Kiehl said. That number rises to savings of nearly $300 million when you compare it to the regional cost trends of health care for nonmember companies across the region.
 “While the data show that our efforts to get costs under control are working, we know there is still progress to be made,” Kiehl said. “In order to keep moving the needle in the right direction, the BHCG looks forward to continuing its efforts to promote accountability of consumers, providers, employers and our administrative partner, Humana.”
The numbers represent nearly 61 percent of the BHCG’s member population Kiehl said.
Kiehl credits the successful decrease in costs so far to the numerous collaborative partnerships and the increase of accountability of all players in the health care system. 
 “We’re seeing our member employers embrace wellness and prevention programs, engaging their employees to take accountability for their well being,” Kiehl said. “Giving employer groups the ability to engage providers with one voice through the BHCG will continue our success going forward.”

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