- According to new data from Accenture, employers are shifting much more quickly than expected to provide employees with health insurance through private exchanges. Three million people signed up through private exchanges this year — approximately three times more than the consulting firm forecasted.
- Accenture anticipates that by 2018 enrollment in private exchanges will reach 40 million, surpassing enrollment in federally and state-funded exchanges.
- Since approximately a quarter of employees who signed up through the private exchanges selected higher-deductible, lower-coverage plans than they had under employer insurance plans, hospitals can expect to see a higher percentage of out-of-pocket collections from patients with employer-based coverage.
Accenture forecasts that providers will see a 7% increase in out-of-pocket collections from patients with employer-based coverage by 2018. This is a not-insignificant shift that will likely impact the way hospitals collect payments — providers may begin to require patients to make some payment for care up front. And as with any population shift to higher-deductible plans, hospitals will have to consider the impact that this will have on uncompensated care.