July 14, 2024

Self-Insured Health Plan Offerings Growing Among Small Employers

The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) has seen a lot of interest in plan sponsors using self-insured health plans since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to Paul Fronstin, Ph.D., director, Health Research & Education Program, EBRI.

Among employers with less than 100 employees, the percentage offering at least one self-insured plan increased from 14.2% in 2015 to 17.4% in 2016, the latest year of data released by the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey. Among firms with 500 or more employees, the percentage decreased from 80.4% to 78.5%.

Kris Haltmeyer, vice president, Legislative & Regulatory Policy, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, and EBRI’s vice chair of health care research, explained to webinar attendees that in a self-funded arrangement, plan sponsors bear all financial costs associated with health claims of employees—administration is a fixed cost, but medical claim costs are variable. According to Haltmeyer, the market is seeing more hybrid self-funded arrangements, where employers buy stop-loss insurance to help with unexpected, catastrophic claims. more