Health Care and Insurance Costs in San Diego Rising Faster Than National Average

San Diego, CA, September 01, 2013 --( A comprehensive survey of local employers on trends in employee benefit offerings shows that medical costs have increased an average 7.8 percent in San Diego over the previous year. This compares to an average increase of 6.5 percent nationally. The 2013 San Diego Benefit Survey was recently released by Intercare Insurance Solutions, a Hub International company. Intercare Insurance Solutions, an innovative commercial insurance broker, specializes in employee benefits and wellness, retirement planning, property and casualty, and executive risk management.

“Not surprisingly, we have discovered through group interaction, one-on-one meetings, and this survey that San Diego companies are seeing costs increase partially due to expected changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act,” said Mike Barone, Intercare Insurance Solutions President. “Other factors may be San Diego’s limited geographic boundaries and lack of health care system competition.

The third annual survey, completed by 114 San Diego area employers ranging in size from six employees to 23,000, and representing a wide variety of industries, yields some interesting trends in employer sponsored health care practices:

· More than half of San Diego employers increased the amount of premium they pass along to employees by up to 25 percent.

· Employer use of traditional HMO/PPO plans is decreasing, while there is a 30 percent increase in Consumer Driven Health Plans.

· Cost saving strategies employers are considering in response to the Affordable Care Act include: modifying existing health plans, a move to self- funding, introducing Consumer Driven Health Plans, and increasing employee contributions.

· Some 74 percent of the more than 100 employer respondents said they currently offer or plan to implement a wellness program within two years.

· Wellness programs are gaining momentum as an incentive for employees to maintain a healthy lifestyle, and for employers to manage costs.

· 46 percent of respondents believe their wellness programs are effective in improving employee health.

· There’s a continuing shift to outcome-based contributions, with 29 percent of respondents anticipating a move to premium/contribution discounts based on health outcomes within two years.

In addition to the survey, Intercare Insurance Solutions has been hosting meetings with clients and prospects for the past several months to learn about their benefits challenges first-hand, especially in light of changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act. Many local companies report that they are challenged by some of the details surrounding implementation of the Affordable Care Act: specifically, what percentage of their employees are eligible to obtain coverage through Covered California; the requirements surrounding communicating about coverage through Covered California; and what circumstances require businesses to provide affordable health insurance or pay a penalty.

About Intercare Insurance Solutions
Intercare Insurance Solutions, a Hub International Company, is an innovative commercial insurance broker specializing in employee benefits and wellness, retirement planning, property and casualty, and executive risk management. Intercare operates under a philosophy different than its competitors, viewing the benefits plans it designs for clients and their employees as a strategic investment rather than expense. Although Intercare Insurance Solutions was acquired by Hub International in December 2012, the company operates independently.

Media Contacts:
Lisa Margolin-Feher
Margolin & Associates
for Intercare Insurance Solutions, A Hub International Company
Margolin & Associates for Intercare Insurance Solutions, a Hub International Company
Lisa Margolin-Feher
Cara Siegel
Hub International Limited
Director, Corporate Brand Management and Media Relations
Phone: 516.677.4992