Iowa employers continue to pick up the bulk of the tab for their workers’ health insurance premiums. Now, a statewide survey will measure how satisfied they are with the health care services they’re helping their employees to purchase. 

In his 2013 Iowa Employer Benefits Study, local benefits expert David Lind will ask employers to grade their area’s health care systems on their performance, ranking factors ranging from how transparent they are about costs to how easy it is to access their services. 

“How Iowa employers perceive the performance of health care providers will cast an important light on measurement area(s) that may need improvement,” Lind wrote in a recent blog. “Our new module of questions will help us understand just how satisfied employers are with this perennial investment.”  

Employers that are randomly selected for the survey will be asked to rate 11 performance measures on a 1 to 10 scale. The surveyed companies will also be asked to provide feedback on how much they trust (or don’t trust) their local  medical providers.  

According to Lind’s 2012 survey, the average Iowa employer contributes about 80 percent of the premium for employee-only coverage, or about $4,400 annually. Employers also paid about two-thirds of the premium for family coverage, or about $8,900 per year. And despite annual premium increases, employers in the state have consistently absorbed escalating costs since 1999, Lind noted.

The results will be published early this fall by Lind’s Heartland Health Research Institute. 

Performance measures that employers will rate:

Transparency of costs
Transparency in medical outcomes
Coordination of care among providers
Keeping costs reasonable
Consistent quality of care
Focus on wellness and health promotion
Access to services
Electronic health records
Concern for patient satisfaction
Ability to engage patients