Self-Insurance In Times Of Growing And Retreating Managed Care

Health Affairs
Vol. 22, No. 2
March 2003
Gabel, J.R., Jensen, G.A., and Hawkins, S.

This paper examines trends in self-insurance and in the content of self-insured plans from 1993 to 2001. The percentage of employees enrolled in self-insured plans fell during these years. Much of the decrease was attributable to the decline of indemnity insurance and the rise of HMO and point-of-service plan enrollment. If the product mix had remained constant throughout these years, self-insured enrollment would have grown between 1993 and 1996 and then declined to its current 50 percent level. As a result of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), the use of preexisting condition clauses declined dramatically in self-insured plans. Self-insured and purchased plans cost similar amounts and provide similar benefits. Cost sharing is somewhat lower in self-insured PPO plans. During periods of rapid inflation, premiums increase more slowly for self-insured than for fully insured plans.

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