BENEFITS MANAGEMENT

Midwest leads high-deductible health plan trend

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While the movement toward full-replacement high-deductible health plans is accelerating nationally, it is moving faster in some regions of the country, said Andrea Kinkade, president of Maumee, Ohio-based Kaminsky & Associates Inc., a partner firm of United Benefits Advisors L.L.C.

“The perception of HDHPs varies dramatically across the country,” she said. “Here in the Midwest, we were among the first to introduce them and then go full-replacement.”

Ms. Kinkade said it may have been easier for employers in the Midwest to do so because their employees already had experience with greater cost-sharing by being enrolled in health plans that had deductibles and coinsurance requirements, unlike health maintenance organization plans that typically require plan members to make only nominal copayments that were more prevalent outside the Midwest.

“We didn't have as big of an HMO presence, so people were more receptive to them,” she said.

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