McGraw Wentworth Launches Survey to Benchmark Benefits Trends and Impact of Health Care Reform in SE Michigan

Participating Michigan employers will learn how peers and top-performing organizations manage benefit costs and address health reform.

TROY, Mich., Jan. 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Working to recover from the recent economic downturn, Michigan organizations are focused on providing employees with benefits plans that are both competitive and comply with the first elements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  With health care costs projected to increase between 8% and 12% in 2011, McGraw Wentworth has launched its 2011 Mid-Market Group Benefit Survey which will give employers timely information for decision-making, including how their peers are managing health care costs while also addressing health reform, including grandfathering and extension of coverage to dependents to age 26.

Over 500 southeast Michigan organizations are expected to participate in the survey that is now in its eighth year. The 2011 Mid-Market Survey includes new data points to reflect the changing environment and the analysis will:

  • Reflect regional trends including whether organizations chose to "grandfather" plans under health reform.
  • Highlight whether or not organizations plan to continue offering group health coverage under health reform.
  • Measure cost increases attributed to Health Care Reform.
  • Track mid-market group benefits trends in Southeast Michigan.
  • Evaluate the usage trend and cost impact of health care benefit strategies, such as higher deductibles, tiered co-pays, Wellness incentives, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), spousal surcharges, and smoker surcharges.

The analysis also will determine the 2011 Total Cost Ratio of what Michigan employers and employees pay for benefits --- including premiums, employee payroll contributions and out of pocket costs.  

"Much has been discussed and speculated about the effect of health care reform.  This survey will provide Michigan employers with an objective measure of the impact of these changes in the local market, and insight into the changes to come," says Rebecca McLaughlan, Managing Director, McGraw Wentworth. "More importantly, with statistically valid results available within six months, this vital tool empowers mid-size organizations to immediately evaluate plan design options and the cost impact, during a time in which employer-sponsored health care is quickly changing."

Mid-sized employers with 100-10,000 employees in southeast Michigan — including manufacturing, technology, service, government, education and not-for-profit organizations -- benefit from the survey analysis, including a tailored report benchmarking each participant against their industry peers as well as the entire dataset.

The survey will examine the plan design strategies employed by TrendBenders™, high-performing, trend setting organizations that have successfully kept average cost increases at less than 3% over the past two years.  

The survey is sponsored by McGraw Wentworth, Michigan's largest employee group benefit consulting and brokerage firm, ranked nationally as a Top Agent/Broker to Work For by Business Insurance magazine. Employers who complete the free survey will be invited to participate in one of several exclusive survey results sessions to be held in June. All data will be confidential. To register, call Ryan Bowers at McGraw Wentworth, (248) 822- 6231 or visit

SOURCE McGraw Wentworth