- Employers rated their health plans with “C” grades when assessing their ability to provide high-quality healthcare to employees in a report out Thursday from the Leapfrog Group.
- Though results varied, health plans earned a lower average grade in the latest rankings than in previous years, earning a 2.29 GPA compared to a 2.57 in 2020, according to the report.
- Ultimately, employers said they prioritize quality of care over other factors like cost when evaluating health plans to choose for their employees.
Over 100 employers were asked in the Leapfrog survey to assign an “A” through “F” letter grade to their health plan based on the overall quality, cost-effectiveness, and value. The “C” grades reflect that employers perceived “significant room for improvement across all categories surveyed” for their health plans, the report said.
The findings pose challenges to employers, especially after the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act in 2020, which placed greater responsibility on employers for ensuring that health benefits are cost-effective and high quality for employees, the report said.
Respondents were asked to rate their health plans on four metrics: responsiveness to employer concerns, transparency in helping members find the best providers, payment reform initiatives and value strategies.
Of the surveyed employers, care quality was the most important factor when determining which health plans to choose for employees, according to Leapfrog's report.
Some 57% of employers said their health plan cares about quality, 53% said their plan is committed to reducing unnecessary costs and 59% said their plan gives employees access to usable data.
Employers were less likely to report satisfaction with their plans’ sharing of quality data to help members choose the best providers, and alternative payment model offerings, the survey found.
“We were a little surprised at how clearly the findings showed that employers care first and foremost about quality of care,” Leapfrog CEO Leah Binder said in a release. “They want results. The report points to specific issues that appear to disappoint employers and what successful health plans do to earn their trust.”
Leapfrog’s report did not address inflationary concerns among executives, though employers are expected to face larger increases in health plan costs soon.
Employer health costs are expected to rise 6.5% this year, compared to 3.7% between 2021 and 2022, an Aon report found.