MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwired - April 07, 2016) - Zywave has just released its 2015 Health Plan Design Benchmark Report to its partner network of insurance brokers. The report gathers and analyzes health plan data from one of the largest databases of plan designs in the United States -- nearly 50,000 employers and 70,000 health plans. The report breaks down data by region, industry, group size and plan type, and includes several key plan design measures.

The information is used to identify trends in health plans that employers offer, which allows brokers to show employers how the health plans they offer to employees compare to similar types of businesses in the area. In turn, employers are able to make informed decisions about the plan designs they offer as well as remain competitive, all while keeping an eye on health care costs and premiums. 

The 2015 Health Plan Design Benchmark Report is available to Zywave partners with Broker Briefcase®, BrokerageBuilder™ or Plan Advisor. Zywave also offers an online tool that allows brokers to create custom benchmarking reports by inputting their clients' plan information and demographics.

"We know that business owners are concerned about remaining competitive with their benefit offerings, while still effectively managing their costs," says Dave O'Brien, Zywave CEO. "In fact, in a separate survey we conducted in 2015, polling more than 1,000 employers, nearly 90 percent said that it's important that their broker provide plan design benchmarking information. Our online tools and Health Plan Design Benchmark Report provide brokers with powerful tools that help them meet this employer demand. The reports are particularly useful for a prospecting meeting or pre-renewal plan design analysis."

2015 Trends

"A continuing trend identified in the 2015 report is one of shifting more costs to employees," says Jacob Hanke, senior market analyst at Zywave. "As employers look to manage their overall health care costs, they continue to offer plans with higher deductibles, lower coinsurance, higher out-of-pocket costs and higher copays."

Some of the highlights include:

Deductible and out-of-pocket maximums (OOPM)

For the fourth year in a row, the $2,500+ individual deductible group was the most popular, representing 46 percent of offered plans (up from the 35 percent in 2014). Within the past three years, plans with higher OOPMs have increased by almost 30 percent. Conversely, plans with lower individual OOPMs have been decreasing in popularity.


The most popular coinsurance percentage among the offered plans in 2015 was in the 80 to 89 percent range. Totaling 24 percent of the plans offered, the frequency of plans with coinsurance of less than 60 percent doubled between 2014 and 2015.


Consistent with the trends over the past three years, employers in 2015 showed an increased preference in plans with a higher emergency room (ER) copay. This is unsurprising, as offering a higher ER copay has become a common cost-control strategy for employers in recent years.

In 2014, the popularity of the $35+ range more than doubled to become the most commonly offered office visit copay range. This trend continued in 2015, with 40 percent of employers offering a plan with a copay of over $35 for an office visit. We believe this cost-saving trend will become even more widespread in the future.

Prescription drug deductible

Plans with prescription drug deductibles of more than $250 soared -- increasing from 17 percent in 2014 to 38 percent in 2015.

Zywave partners that have Broker Briefcase®, BrokerageBuilder™ or Plan Advisor can access the 2015 Health Plan Design Benchmark Report directly within the products or through Zywave Home.

For more information about Zywave's solutions, visit

About Zywave

Zywave is a leading provider of software-as-a-service (SaaS) technology solutions for the insurance industry. The company's products include Web-enabled marketing communications, business intelligence and analytics, client resource portals, and agency management tools. More than 3,000 brokerages worldwide -- including 90 of the top 100 U.S. insurance firms -- use Zywave's proven solutions to differentiate themselves from the competition, enhance client services, improve efficiencies and achieve organic growth.

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