More companies choose to self-insure employees

Health insurers might lose a large amount of business as large, private employers increasingly opt to self-insure their workers instead of contracting with an insurance company.

The percentage of companies that self-insure has grown steadily since 2006, according to a new report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute. In 2011, about 60 percent of American workers were covered by their employers' self-insured plans, which reduce companies' administration, exempt them from state-mandated coverage and allow them to offer standard coverage across states, The Hill's Healthwatch reported.

However, small businesses with fewer than 50 employees aren't following the self-insurance trend. Only 10 percent of employees working for small employers were self-insured in 2011, reported BenefitsPro.

The report did find that self-insured rates differ throughout the country. Hawaii had one of the lowest self-insured rates, with just 30 percent of its workers enrolled in such a plan. Indiana and Minnesota fell on the other side of the spectrum, with more than 70 percent of employees enrolled in a self-insured plan, reported Kaiser Health News.

To learn more:
- here's the EBRI report (.pdf)
- see the Kaiser Health News article
- read The Hill's Healthwatch article
- check out the Benefits Pro article

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