May 2001 Policy Forum


Defined Contribution Health Benefits:
The Next Evolution?

An EBRI-ERF Policy Forum
May 3, 2001
Arnold and Porter Conference Center
Washington, DC
9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Session I: What are Defined Contribution (DC) Health Benefits, and What are the Forces Driving Employers to Consider Them?
  • Presentation on the difference between DC health benefits and DC retirement benefits, the environmental reasons for the interest in DC health benefits, and the types of DC health benefits either in place or contemplated.
  • Presentation on consumerism.

Speakers
Paul Fronstin, Employee Benefit Research Institute
Ray Werntz, Consumer Health Education Council
Jerome H. Grossman, Health Care Delivery Project, Harvard University

Session II: The Case For and Against DC Health Benefits: Perspective of Purchasers

Speakers
John Abraham, American Federation of Teachers
Roger Chizek, Medtronic
Randall L. Johnson, Motorola
William J. Dennis, Jr., National Federation of Independent Business

Session III: The Case For and Against DC Health Benefits: Perspective of Insurers

Speakers
Kim Bellard, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield
Arthur Lifson, Cigna
Jay Silverstein, Unitedhealthcare

Session VI: The underlying reasons for rising health care costs and how DC health benefits may address the main cost drivers.

Speaker
Len Nichols, The Urban Institute

Session V: The Case For and Against DC Health Benefits: Perspective of Providers

Speakers
James Bentley, American Hospital Association
Donald Palmisano, American Medical Association

Session VI: New Innovations for the Provision of Employment-Based Health Benefits

This panel will include presentations on how technology can be used to help employers provide health benefits and to assist workers in choosing a health plan. The panel will also include presentations on current innovations and examples of innovative benefit designs.

Speakers
Tom Beauregard, Sageo
Tom Valdivia, Definity Health
Lee Newcomer, Vivius

Session VII: Politics of Change

Synthesizing the information presented earlier in the forum, experts will discuss how political agendas will influence, and be influenced by, these topics. This session will also summarize the policy hurdles in front of stereotypical DC health plans. Implications of moving to DC health benefits, such as privacy, taxes, employer contributions, and the role of the employer will be addressed. The political and policy feasibility of mandating or not mandating "individual responsibility" will be discussed. Finally, the impact on the performance of small group markets throughout the country and potential changes to individual market rules in the states will be addressed.

Speakers
Mary Nell Lehnhard, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association
Kathleen Sebelius, National Association of Insurance Commissioners
John H. Gilman, Office of Senator Wellstone
Dean Clancy, Office of Majority Leader Armey


Revised May 24, 2001