Combining all coverage types into integrated plans saves money

Insurers might want to consider expanding their coverage options to provide dental, vision, life, disability and pharmacy benefits into integrated plans for the employer-sponsored market.

That's because integrating multiple types of insurance coverage can lower costs and improve quality of care. Plus, companies like only having to deal with one insurer to provide all their offerings to their employees, according to a new survey from WellPoint. A copy of the survey was emailed to FierceHealthPayer.

After interviewing more than 400 companies with at least 100 employees as well as 400 full-time employees currently covered by their companies' health plan, the survey found that both employers and their employees would prefer all insurance coverage under one plan.

"We surveyed employers and employees on what they want in their health plans, and both overwhelmingly agreed with the advantages of integrating benefits," Jeff Spahr, vice president of WellPoint's specialty businesses, said in a statement.

WellPoint also learned that 93 percent of employers think coordinating all insurance coverage leads to better quality of care.

Integrating coverage means employer-sponsored health plans would be providing more coordinated and comprehensive care to millions of employees. "We found that doctors, dentists, eye care providers, etc. were all key participants in keeping individuals healthy; therefore, it makes sense to help them share relevant health information so they can provide better, more holistic and more cost-effective care."

In fact, coordinating care and sharing patient information across relevant parties often leads to positive results, including lower costs and improved health. That's why the chief executive of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island believes all caregivers should be aligned together, FierceHealthPayer previously reported.

To learn more:
- read the WellPoint statement