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WILLIAM M. MERCER INC.: COMPANY EXECUTIVES HAVE SOME RESERVATIONS ABOUT MANAGED COMPETITION

 SAN FRANCISCO, May 3 /PRNewswire/ -- A snapshot survey of executives at 185 U.S. companies shows that, while 76 percent think managed competition will help slow healthcare cost increases, more than half (55 percent) say managed competition will not result in universal access to healthcare, and only 24 percent think the costs of their own health benefits programs will be less than under the current system. In addition, 54 percent say administering their health benefit plans will be more complex under managed competition. The survey was conducted by international human resources consulting firm, William M. Mercer Inc. Results were made public today.
 Survey Highlights
 -- More respondents think managed competition will slow cost increases than think it will succeed in providing universal access to healthcare. Thirty-two percent believe managed competition will slow cost increases in the short-term; 44 percent believe it will do so in the long-term. Only 13 percent think it will provide universal access in the short-term; 32 percent in the long-term.
 -- Despite the fact that most respondents (76 percent) believe managed competition will have a favorable impact on cost increases, only 24 percent think the costs of their own health benefits programs will be less than under the current system. Almost one-third say costs will be higher and nearly half (46 percent) expect costs to be about the same.
 -- Fifty-four percent say administering their health benefit plans will be more complex under managed competition; only 7 percent expect it to become easier. More large companies (61 percent) than small companies (48 percent) expect benefits management to be more complex.
 -- Most believe that healthcare reform financing mechanisms are likely to include "sin taxes" (95 percent); a benefits tax on employers (91 percent); and price controls on providers (90 percent).
 -- Seventy-five percent believe reforms will include mandated employer benefits. Half expect reform legislation to be adopted in 1994; more than 25 percent expect it in 1995.
 -- One-third have taken steps to educate their employees about healthcare reform; one-third of the remainder will do so after the Clinton plan is announced.
 -- Eighty-four percent favor addressing healthcare cost containment prior to expanding access.
 NOTE: William M. Mercer Inc. is one of the nation's leading actuarial, employee benefits, compensation and human resources management consulting firms. Its almost 3,600 employees serve more than 9,000 employers from offices in 45 U.S. cities. With nearly 200 employees serving clients through offices in San Francisco and San Jose, Mercer has the largest and most experienced staff of human resource specialists in Northern California.
 -0- 5/3/93
 /CONTACT: Mike Kramer of William M. Mercer, 415-393-5792/


CO: William M. Mercer Inc. ST: California IN: HEA SU:

ML-SG -- SF010 -- 3840 05/03/93 13:15 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 3, 1993
Words:450
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