WASHINGTON: Reproductive Benefits Survey Challenged
Employers are taking issue with the Reproductive Health Benefits Survey released Tuesday by state Insurance Commissioner Deborah Senn (D), today's Journal of Commerce reports. The survey examined 91 health plans for the level of reproductive health benefit coverage they provide (see Daily Report 9/8). Don Brunnell, president of the Association of Washington Business, took issue with "the sweeping generalizations" of the study. He said, "I'm not sure that their assessments apply to the majority of our 3,780 member companies, and their more than 600,000 employees." Bob Pena, Aetna U.S. Healthcare's regional spokesman, expressed similar reservations. "It is our goal to work with employers to allow them to select the benefits that they want to make available to their employees," he said. At Tuesday's press conference, Senn said, "Employers currently report that costs related to pregnancies and child birth make up the single largest component of health care costs, up to 49% of total health care spending." She added, "The study also shows that employers are being penny wise and pound foolish in that even when insurers do offer these services, employers often cut them out of their group plans to keep their premiums down." (Lent, Journal of Commerce, 9/11).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.