Data

January 2017

  • Winter 2017 Data Reporting Results from the Survey of Plans' Zone Status

    The survey presents the most recent data available for all Segal multiemployer client plans.

    Download the survey to learn:

    • A majority of multiemployer plans are in the green zone.
    • The percentage of plans in the red zone remains stable.
    • Eight plans improved their zone status since the prior 12-month period.
    • Nearly half of all participants are in red-zone plans, and almost one-quarter of all participants are in plans certified as “critical and declining.”
    • More than half of the participants in red-zone plans are in five large plans.
    • The average Pension Protection Act of 2006 funded percentage is 86 percent.

    The survey report compares the latest zone-status data to data from 2008, when the first zone certifications were filed, and 2009, after the market downturn. It also shows the year in which current red-zone plans were first certified “red.”

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  • Winter 2017 Data Reporting Results of the Study of Medicaid Savings from State Retirement Savings Options for Private Sector Workers

    To address shortfalls in retirement savings, some states are establishing workplace payroll-deduction individual retirement account programs for employees in the private sector. As other states look at programs to build retirement savings, they are also asking how a population better prepared for retirement would affect public safety-net programs, especially Medicaid.

    Segal Consulting conducted a study of states and the District of Columbia to estimate the impact of expanded retirement savings by individuals not currently participating in a retirement plan on future Medicaid expenditures. The result of the analysis showed states could realize meaningful savings on Medicaid spending by requiring a retirement savings plan be available for private sector workers.

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September 2016

  • 2017 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey

    Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2017 are projected to be similar to prior levels for most medical plan options. However, carved-out prescription drug benefit cost trends for active populations continue to increase at double-digit rates, according to forecasts compiled in the 2017 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, Segal Consulting’s 20th annual survey of managed care organizations, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and third-party administrators.

    Here are some of the key findings from the survey and our observations about actions plan sponsor may want to take in response:

    • Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2017 are projected to be similar to prior levels for most medical plan options. However, carved-out prescription drug benefit cost trends for active populations continue to increase at double-digit rates. Given the increasing number of pharmaceutical products now available for conditions that require the use of specialty medications, plan sponsors should implement strategies to manage patients who use these drugs and target their costs.
    • Health care cost increases continue to outpace general inflation by almost eight times. Plan sponsors should consider implementing vendor performance guarantees that cap average network provider increases to overall CPI plus a margin
    • Managed care networks have competitive advantages in different regions of the country, by specialty type and by product. Plan sponsors should conduct an analysis of competing vendors’ current provider pricing, network leasing fees, provider payment alternatives and network panels.

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    Download PDF

August 2016

  • Infographic of Key Findings from our Latest Survey of Plans’ Zone Status

    An infographic of key findings from our latest survey gives a breakdown of plan zone status, notes how many plans have improved their zone status and provides information about industry differences in the average Pension Protection Act of 2006 funded percentage and how that correlates to the median number of retirees for each active participants.

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July 2016

  • Summer 2016 Data Reporting Results of a Public Sector Retiree Health Survey

    A large majority of state, county and city HR leaders are aware of and concerned about the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) accounting changes for public sector retiree health insurance and other postemployment benefits (OPEB). Concern about the new OPEB accounting requirements is warranted because financing large and likely growing liabilities will have implications for the budgeting of most jurisdictions. The State and Local Government Benefits Association, the Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable and Segal Consulting recently collaborated on a Public Sector Retiree Health Survey. The survey sought to gauge awareness of the GASB’s OPEB accounting changes and to find out what actions have been taken or are being considered to manage OPEB liabilities. Despite high awareness of the GASB’s OPEB accounting changes by the public sector HR leaders surveyed, relatively few jurisdictions have taken action to mitigate the impact of the accounting changes.

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June 2016

  • Spring 2016 Data Reporting Results from the Survey of Plans’ Zone Status

    With several financially troubled multiemployer plans currently making headlines, it is easy to lose sight of the important reality that a majority of multiemployer plans are in the green zone, as confirmed by Segal Consulting’s latest Survey of Plans’ Zone Status. Moreover, the average Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA’06) funded percentage has remained stable: 87 percent for 2016 calendar-year plans (compared to 88 percent in the prior year).

    What is particularly notable is that the calendar-year results are coming on the heels of 2015 experience in which investment returns fell short of expectations: the median investment return for the calendar-year plans was just 0.1 percent.

    Nevertheless, while 64 percent of plans with zone certifications filed in the 12 months ending in March 2016 are in the green zone, this news should not obscure the fact that just under half of all participants are in plans in the red zone. Significantly, about half of these red-zone participants (23 percent overall) are in plans that are considered to be “critical and declining.”

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April 2016

  • Infographic of Key Findings from a Public Sector Retiree Health Survey

    Under the first of two updated Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) standards for accounting and financial reporting, state and local government retiree health plans must report liabilities for retiree health insurance and postemployment benefits other than pensions (OPEB) on their financial statements effective for fiscal years after June 15, 2016. With that date on the horizon, SALGBA and the Public Sector HealthCare Roundtable recently collaborated on a survey of plan administrators about their awareness of the accounting changes as well as actions already taken or being considered to manage those liabilities in the future. This infographic presents key findings.

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March 2016

  • Infographic of Key Facts about 2016 Medical Stop-Loss Coverage

    Interest in stop-loss coverage has grown since the Affordable Care Act eliminated annual and lifetime dollar limits on essential health benefits — and as the number and value of high-amount claims has risen. This infographic presents 2016 data drawn from more than 200 Segal Consulting health plan clients that have stop-loss coverage.

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    Download PDF

January 2016

  • Infographic of Key Findings from Segal's Study of Multiemployer Defined Contribution Plans

    Segal’s latest Study of Multiemployer Defined Contribution Plans found that the profit-sharing plan design is more than three time as prevalent as the money-purchase pension plan design; more than half of the plans in the study remain self-administered by the fund office; there is close to an even split between trustee directed and participant directed investments; and hardship-withdrawal provisions are much more common than loan provisions. For details, see an infographic of key findings.

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December 2015

  • Fall 2015 Data Reporting Results from the Survey of Plans’ Zone Status

    This publication presents the most recent data available: 2015 results for plans with zone certifications filed in the third quarter of 2015. It also presents results for all Segal client plans with zone certification filing deadlines in the 12 months between October 1, 2014 and September 30, 2015.

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September 2015

  • Infographic of Key Findings from the 2016 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey

    Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2016 will increase for most medical plan options and increase substantially for prescription drug coverage to double-digit rates, according to forecasts compiled in the 2016 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, Segal’s nineteenth annual survey of health plan cost trends. Trend is the forecast of annual gross per capita claims cost increases.

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    Download PDF

  • 2016 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey

    The following are among the key survey findings:

    • Trend rates for prescription drug coverage are projected to increase substantially to double-digit rates: 11.3 percent for prescription drug carve-out coverage for actives and retirees under age 65 (up from 8.6 percent projected for 2015) and 10.9 percent for retirees age 65 and older (up from 7.5 percent projected for 2015).
    • The projected specialty drug/biotech drug trend rate for 2016, is projected to be 18.9 percent, and is expected to be a leading driver of plan cost increases for many of our clients.
    • The most common medical plan types offered to actives and retirees under age 65 — open-access preferred provider organization (PPO)/point-of-service (POS) plans and health maintenance organizations (HMOs) — are projected to vary by 1 percentage point: 7.8 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.
    • Medical trends for retirees age 65 and older are projected to be much lower than active employee health plan cost rends with less of a differential between plan type offerings: 2.9 percent for Medicare Advantage (MA) PPOs and 3.5 percent for MA HMOs.

    It is important to keep in mind that medical health plan cost trends still dramatically outpace the consumer price index for all urban consumers (CPI-U). As long as medical plan trend continues to be substantially above core CPI (which is used to increase the Affordable Care Act’s 40 percent excise tax threshold), a growing number of health plan sponsors will likely exceed the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax threshold in the years ahead. Consequently, plan sponsors will need to continue to focus their efforts to decrease health care spending before the excise tax on high-cost health plans goes into effect in 2018. It is important to make projections now to determine whether (or when) a plan will be subject to the excise tax in 2018 and beyond.

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    Download PDF

August 2015

  • Summer 2015 Data Reporting Results from the Multiemployer Pension Plan Mortality Study

    The Segal Multiemployer Pension Plan Mortality Study reveals that the mortality rate for multiemployer plan participants was nearly 9 percent greater than projections from the Society of Actuaries.

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June 2015

  • Summer 2015 Data Reporting Results from the Study of Multiemployer Health Plans — Current Affordable Care Act Issues

    Segal Consulting conducted a study of nearly 300 multiemployer health plan clients to determine what changes trustees have made since Affordable Care Act became law. This edition of Data highlights the key study findings.

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  • Spring 2015 Data Reporting Results from the Survey of Plans’ Zone Status

    The publication presents the most recent data available: 2015 results for calendar-year plans. It also presents results for all client multiemployer plans for zone certification filing deadlines for the 12-month period between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015.

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March 2015

  • Winter 2015 Data, "Multiemployer Health Benefits: Key Facts at a Glance"

    This Segal Consulting publication presents key facts about multiemployer health benefits. It shows statistics on the following aspects of the Affordable Care Act:

    • Median actuarial plan value,
    • Grandfathered status, and
    • Likelihood of family coverage triggering the excise tax in 2018.

    It also includes information on the following types of participant cost sharing:

    • Medical plan in-network deductibles,
    • Medical plan annual out-of-pocket maximums for in-network coverage,
    • Copayments for primary office, specialist office and emergency room visits.
    • Retail pharmacy benefit copayments, and
    • Individual dental plan annual in-network benefit maximum.

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October 2014

  • Infographic of Key Findings from the 2015 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey

    “Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2015 are forecast to drop slightly for some coverage, but increase substantially for prescription drug plans,” said Edward Kaplan, National Health Practice Leader. “As the health benefits landscape continues to change, sponsors of large group plans must stay focused on exploring health plan strategies that produce high value medical benefits with stable cost trends.”

    These are the key findings from Segal Consulting's 2015 Health Plan Cost Trend Survey.

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  • 2015 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey

    Health benefit plan cost trend rates for 2015 are forecast to drop slightly for some coverage, but to increase substantially for prescription drug coverage, according to data compiled in the 2015 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey, Segal's eighteenth annual survey of managed care organizations, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers and third-party administrators.

    Trend is the forecast of annual gross per capita claims cost increases that takes into account various factors, such as price inflation, utilization, government-mandated benefits, and new treatments, therapies and technology. Although there is usually a high correlation between a trend rate and the actual cost increase assessed by a carrier, trend and the net annual change in plan costs are not the same. Changes in the costs to plan sponsors can be significantly different from projected claims cost trends, reflecting such diverse factors as group demographics, changes in plan design, administrative fees, reinsurance premiums and changes in participant contributions.

    Notable findings from the survey include the following:

    • Medical health plan trends for actives and retirees under age 65 are forecast to vary widely for 2015, from a low of 6.2 percent for health maintenance organizations (HMOs) to a high of 10.4 percent for fee-for-service coverage.
    • More closely managed medical plans, like HMOs and preferred provider organizations (PPOs)/point-of-service (POS) plans with primary care gatekeeper models, are forecast to see a 1 percentage-point drop from 2014 projections.
    • Projected 2015 trend rates for PPOs and POS plans combined show regional variations.
    • The increase in the cost of prescription drug carve-out coverage for actives and retirees under age 65 is expected to jump to nearly 9 percent. Prescription drug trend for retirees age 65 and older is expected to rise to 7.5 percent, more than twice the rate of retiree medical cost trends.
    • The projected specialty drug/biotech trend rate for 2015 is an exceptionally high 19.4 percent.
    • Trends for dental coverage are expected to be either flat or higher for 2015 compared to 2014 projections, whereas trends for vision coverage are forecast to be lower.
    • Price inflation remains the largest component of trend for hospital services and brand-name medications.

    The survey also examined 2015 projected medical trends by service type (hospitals, physicians and prescription drugs). Similar to prior-year projections, price inflation remains the largest component of cost increases.

    The key findings from Segal’s 2015 Health Plan Cost Trend Survey are illustrated in an infographic that can be found here.

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May 2014

  • Spring 2014 Report of Results from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2014 Zone Status

    The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA ‘06) divides multiemployer pension plans into three "zones": red ("critical" status), yellow ("endangered" status), and green (neither "critical" nor "endangered" status). This Survey of Calendar-Year Plans' 2014 Zone Status reports the percentage of plans in each category.

    Four key findings follow:

    • In 2014, 65 percent of plans are in the green zone, up from 61 percent in 2013.
    • Plans in the yellow zone decreased from 11 percent in 2013 to eight percent in 2014.
    • Plans in the red zone fell by 1 percentage point between 2013 and 2014. 
    • The PPA'06 funded percentage rose from 85 percent in 2013 to 88 percent in 2014. This year, 26 percent of plans have a PPA'06 funded percentage of 100 percent or more.

    Although some plans have seen improvements, funding challenges remain from the 2008 economic downturn. These challenges will require trustees to understand their plans' vulnerability to investment risk, employment risk and longevity risk.

    The Survey of Calendar-Year Plans' 2014 Zone Status report presents findings and commentary about these and other survey findings. For example, it includes data on industry differences in the calendar-year plans' zone status between 2013 and 2014. It also provides background information about the zones and information about practical steps trustees are already taking, or may wish to consider taking, to improve their plans' future zone and overall funding status.

    The survey data is based on actual certifications for almost 220 calendar-year multiemployer plans (all of which are Segal clients) that represent a wide range of industries from across the country with combined assets of almost $100 billion. The certifications took into account changes in plan design, employment outlook, negotiated contribution rates and investment performance through the end of 2013.

    Segal Consulting has also created an infographic of the survey data.

    Download PDF

April 2014

  • Infographic of Key Findings from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2014 Zone Status

    These are the key findings from Segal Consulting's Survey of Calendar-Year Plans' 2014 Zone Status:

    • The percentage of calendar-year plans in the green zone is 65 percent, up from 61 percent in 2013. The percentage of plans in the yellow zone is 8 percent, down from 11 percent one year earlier. The percentage of plans in the red zone is 27 percent, which is similar to last year's percentage (28 percent).
    • The average Pension Protection Act of 2006 funded percentage as of January 1, 2014 is 88 percent, which is an increase from 85 percent in 2013.

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March 2014

  • Winter 2014 Report of Results from the Survey of Calendar-Year Plans’ 2013 Zone Status

    This Survey of Plans’ 2013 Zone Status reports the percentage of multiemployer pension plans that fall into each of the three “zones” under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA’06): red (“critical” status), yellow (“endangered” status) and green (neither endangered nor critical) for 2013.
    There are several key survey findings:

    • In 2013, a solid majority of plans — 59 percent — were in the green zone. This percentage represents a very slight decline from 2012 (60 percent).
    • The percentage of plans in the yellow zone was the same for 2013 as for 2012: 14 percent.
    • Between 2012 and 2013, the percentage of plans in the red zone increased by 1 percentage point, from 26 percent to 27 percent.
    • The average PPA’06 funded percentage for all surveyed plans was 84 percent in 2013, the same percentage as in 2012.

    The survey report also analyzes industry trends in plans’ zone status and includes information about the scheduled “sunset” of the zone-certification rules of PPA’06 for plan years beginning after December 31, 2014, unless Congress acts to extend or eliminate the deadline.

    The Survey of Plans’ 2013 Zone Status is based on actual certifications for more than 350 plans representing a wide range of industries that have plan years beginning January 1 to September 1. The certifications took into account any changes in plan design, employment, negotiated contribution rates and investment performance, through the end of each 2012 plan year.

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