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Navigating the World of Health Benefits



KELLY Benefit Strategies held its quarterly KELLY University educational symposium on September 29th at the Union League of Philadelphia. The symposium provided an opportunity for Human Resource, Benefit, and Finance professionals from the Philadelphia region to hear an overview of recent findings by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), a non-profit organization with a focus on national health issues and the U.S. role in global health policy.

Keynote speaker, Matthew Rae of the Kaiser Family Foundation summarized the benefit trends found in the KFF 2017 Employer Health Benefit Survey, which was released on September 19th, 2017. KFF’s Employer Health Benefit Survey is a tool employers and consultants use to help shape benefit strategy and serves as a national benchmark for employer sponsored benefits.

Mr. Rae provided meaningful data points that members of the audience can take back to their organizations to help inform their 2018/2019 benefit strategy. Mr. Rae, co-author of the KFF report for the past seven years, said, “One place that we have seen a lot of change over time is telemedicine. Two years ago a quarter of large employers said that they offered this, now 63% offer telemedicine.” In addition, Mr. Rae stated, “The average deductible for someone who has a deductible is $1,505. Around 4 in 5 workers now have a deductible.”

Symposium guest, Marquand Brown, of New Penn Financial, LLC, commented that “…the statistical data on healthcare was extremely valuable in helping me plan (our) strategy as our company heads into Open Enrollment season”.

Later in the morning Bruce Panasuk, M.D. spoke on time management, and the idea that managing ‘time’ is misleading—Dr. Panasuk suggested the only thing individuals have the ability to manage is themselves. Dr. Panasuk went on to say, “Do not be fooled into thinking that all tasks that are urgent are also important. It is critical that we develop the discernment between urgency and importance.”

Attendees said the event was informative and thought provoking. One attendee described KELLY University as an event that sharpens them professionally and personally. Jill Hutt of the Greater Philadelphia Business Coalition on Health said, “KELLY University was very invigorating. The main thing that I will take away from this event is the rich data that was shared from Kaiser Family Foundation.”

The next KELLY University symposium will take place on February 22nd at the Union League of Philadelphia, with presentations by KELLY experts in pharmacy and compliance.