Keenan 2014 Health Care Benefits Strategy Survey Offers In-depth Look at Trends, Challenges and Best Practices from 223 Hospitals

TORRANCE, Calif. – August 12, 2014 – Keenan, the largest privately held insurance brokerage and consulting firm in California, has released the findings of its 2014 Health Care Benefits Strategy Survey.  This annual survey, now in its twelfth year, has become benchmark research for the health care industry in California, with implications for the sector nationwide. Eighty-one California health care organizations participated in this year’s survey, representing 223 hospitals.

The Keenan Health Care Benefits Strategy Survey provides chief financial officers, human resources executives, benefit managers and others with a wealth of industry-specific information to assist them in their 2015-2016 benefit program planning and best practices development. Detailed information is presented on current medical programs in terms of product mix, financing, medical plan design and eligibility. Also covered in depth are benefits strategy issues including health reform, benefits program impact, physician alignment and population health management.

“This is by far the best benefits survey report we receive, and it is extremely valuable to us,” according to Roger Ashley, Assistant Vice President of Human Resources for Adventist Health, an integrated system of 19 hospitals and more than 230 clinics and health care facilities throughout California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii.

As has been the case in recent years, cost control in a challenging economic environment remains a primary concern, accompanied by new requirements, uncertainty and complexity associated with the Affordable Care Act that are driving health care organizations to rethink their benefits philosophy and strategy.

“We have participated in the Keenan Healthcare Benefits Strategy Survey since its inception,” said Gina Imbrenda, Director, Total Rewards & HRIS of Huntington Memorial Hospital, a 625-bed regional medical center in Pasadena, CA. “While every year the survey provides valuable information, this year’s report is the best ever.“

“This is the most comprehensive survey of its type. We continue to identify ‘better practices’ for health care organizations by identifying strategies and tools used to achieve optimum results,” said Steve Richter, Senior Vice President of Keenan HealthCare. “We greatly appreciate the organizations that participated this year and whose information is invaluable in helping health care providers across the state develop innovative ways to meet the challenges they face.”

Key findings of this study include:

  • 47% have reassessed their benefits philosophy for the new health reform era, with another 24% planning to do so in 2014.
  • California hospitals do not intend to relinquish their role in providing comprehensive medical benefits to their employees—60% would view employee migration to the Covered California health exchange negatively, with only 15% interested in covering employees through the exchange.
  • Primary health reform issues with respect to benefits are coverage of per diems and on-call employees, and exposure to the “Cadillac” tax effective in 2018.
  • 36% believe that marketing a hospital-branded program to the community or through an exchange is a business imperative.

In terms of medical benefits, survey data indicated:

  • 6% increase in medical benefits cost per covered employee to $12,576 in 2014
  • 52% offering at least one medical plan at no cost to the employee
  • Variety of initiatives to address benefit cost issues:
    • Moving from insured to self-funded financing
    • Channeling employee care back to their own facilities
    • Increasing employee cost sharing at point of care
    • Improving employee health risk profiles through population health management initiatives
    • Using narrow networks and other cost management tactics
  • Evolving population health programs:
    • Building a “culture of wellness” with significant progress expected over next two years
    • Increased use of incentives, especially in the form of employee contribution differentials
    • Rising employee participation rates, with 96% at top performing organizations for Health Risk Assessment (HRA)

The study also includes a detailed look at other benefit categories including dental, vision, time off, disability, life, retirement and voluntary. Data is broken out by region: Southern California (except San Diego), San Diego, Sacramento and Central Valley, Northern California (other) and San Francisco Bay.

For a copy of the Executive Summary of the 2014 Health Care Benefits Strategy Survey, please visit //

For information on Keenan insurance brokerage and consulting programs, visit


About Keenan
Founded in 1972, Keenan is the 17th largest insurance consulting and brokerage firm in the U.S., and the largest independent broker in California. Keenan is dedicated to providing superior insurance products and services to schools, community colleges, healthcare organizations and municipalities for employee benefits, health benefit management services, workers’ compensation, risk management, and property and liability. With headquarters in Torrance, CA, Keenan has a staff of more than 650 insurance specialists and branch offices in Riverside, San Clemente, Oakland, San Jose, Rancho Cordova, Redwood City, Pleasanton and Eureka. For more information, call 800-654-8102 or 310-212-3344, email or visit