Availability of Domestic Partner Health Care Coverage Varies Significantly by Region

Sep 22, 2008

Survey finds decision to offer benefits also affected by organization’s size and industry

Alexandria, Va. − Employers in the Pacific West are much more likely (56 percent) to offer same-sex domestic partner health care coverage than any other region in the U.S. The North Central region is the least likely (14 percent).

The availability of this and other workplace health care benefits are also affected by the employer’s size and industry, according to the “Cost of Health Care Benchmarking Study,” a survey of 700 organizations released today by the world’s largest human resource association.

For example, large organizations (66 percent) are more likely to self-fund their health care plans than medium companies (40 percent) or small ones (20 percent). Self-funded programs allow employers to have more control over the health care coverage being offered. Large organizations offer the most health care plan options to employees and usually have lower per-employee health care costs.

“Larger employers not only hold greater purchasing power, but they also have the larger HR staffs needed to research and negotiate for the best-value health care plans,” said John Dooney, manager, strategic research at the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), the source of the benchmarking study. “Differences in the type of health care coverage being offered are caused by revenue disparities between different industries, competitiveness of the local job market, and potential cultural differences from region to region.”

Key findings of the study:

  • In 2007, the median per-employee health care cost for all industries was $5,861.
  • Of the HR professionals who responded to the survey, 75 percent said a presidential candidate’s position on health care reform will be “important” or “very important” to them when they enter voting booths this fall.
  • Government makes the highest median contribution to monthly employee-only health care insurance premiums. Employers in the wholesale/ retail trade industry make the lowest.
  • Large organizations were more like to offer two or more plans, and also have lower median health care costs than small or medium organizations.

For more information on this and other SHRM benchmark surveys, please visit: http://www.shrm.org/research/benchmarks.


About the Society for Human Resource Management

The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 245,000 members in over 130 countries, and more than 575 affiliated chapters. Visit www.shrm.org.


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