Bowers & Associates Unveils Employee Tool

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<p><strong>Franklin, Wis. &mdash; May 31</strong><br />Bowers &amp; Associates, a national health-care data analytics firm, has unveiled the &ldquo;Health Plan Evaluator,&rdquo; a health plan-selection tool and the first of its kind to use an employee&rsquo;s actual claims information to help select their health plan, regardless of claims administrator.&nbsp; </p><p>The tool provides each employee with a user-friendly Web portal to evaluate multiple plan options using the employee&rsquo;s own medical and drug costs, utilization, out-of-pocket expenses, premium, wellness credit and other incentive information.<br /><br />&ldquo;The real value to the Health Plan Evaluator is that it provides employees with customized answers the second they log on,&rdquo; said Scott Weltz, Bowers &amp; Associates senior vice president of analytics &amp; tools. &ldquo;The tool truly puts the power in employees&rsquo; hands by allowing them to compare and contrast the plan options offered by their employer.&rdquo;<br /><br />Bowers &amp; Associates uses its claims modeling system to model each employee&rsquo;s claims for the plan year. </p><p>This system uses the employees&rsquo; actual medical and prescription drug use and charge information from previous plan years to assist with the prediction of future costs.&nbsp; </p><p>Actual claims information is then evaluated to see which plan option makes the most sense for each employee, given the available plan design provisions for co-pays, deductibles and co-insurance.<br /><br />&ldquo;We believe this to be far more valuable to the employee than providing nationwide averages for utilization and charges of health care services,&rdquo; said Shelly Brandel, an actuary who led much of the tool&rsquo;s development.<br /><br />The Health Plan Evaluator also considers actual premiums. Each employee&rsquo;s customized analysis reflects the premium contributions that the employee will make for each plan option based on the criteria the employer lays out.<br /><br />Brandel said the tool also can accommodate the small percentage of employees who want to do &ldquo;what-if&rdquo; testing to determine which option is best if they increase/decrease their use of certain services.&nbsp; </p><p>Employees have the ability to do this right on the Web site.<br /><br />&ldquo;With so much confusion surrounding the new consumer-driven plan designs, we felt it was our job to determine what employees needed in a tool like this to make it easy to use,&rdquo; Weltz said. &ldquo;This included everything from using employee identification and passwords that matched what the employer currently had in place to making the site clean and navigable to the average employee who only looks at his or her plan design options once a year.&rdquo;</p>

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