Employee Health Plans

The Current Economic Environment and Your Health Plan

03/28/2024 Written by: AP Employee Benefits

In the current economic environment, the cost of almost everything is increasing, and healthcare is no exception. Experts predict we will see healthcare costs rise by 8.5% in 2024, causing concern for both employers and employees alike.

As employers continue to try and find balance as cost containment as labor and healthcare costs increase, many are leveraging their benefits to aid in attracting and retaining talent. Read on to learn how employers can increase benefits satisfaction and combat rising costs by reimagining their benefits and employee engagement strategies.

Directing Employees to High-Quality, Affordable Healthcare

There are several strategies employers can use to lower healthcare costs while still providing a streamlined and unique benefits experience to their employees.

Here are some of the cost containment strategies making the biggest impact, while still creating a meaningful benefits experience:

  • Chronic condition management: The CDC reports that 6 in 10 adults in the United States are managing some type of chronic disease. It’s crucial to work with a partner that helps simplify the process and reduce the cost of managing chronic conditions such as diabetes, pre-diabetes and hypertension. Regular communication and engagement with employees regarding their care options will help ensure your employees are armed with the tools they need to properly manage their chronic condition(s).

  • Rx Savings: Insights from HealthJoy’s proprietary Member Health goals data show that 45.5% of employees are paying for at least one prescription. Approximately 20% of employer healthcare spend comes from pharmacy, and employers can reduce spend by partnering with a care navigation platform that actively notifies employees of savings opportunities on prescription medications.

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  • Musculoskeletal condition management: Roughly half of Americans suffer from a musculoskeletal (MSK) condition. MSK claims are the number one cost-driver for employers. There are virtual exercise therapy programs that have proven to reduce MSK pain and reduce medical spend. A study revealed that Virtual MSK Therapy helps employees experience 80% less pain in as little as eight weeks.

  • Virtual primary care: One in three people in the U.S. have little to no access to primary care, making them more likely to delay care. By steering employees to virtual care, they can access preventive care, and establish a relationship with a primary care provider where and when they need it – reducing the risk of higher-cost claims in the future.

Promoting Healthcare Consumerism

“Healthcare consumerism” is a concept that was born out of rising healthcare costs. This has led both individuals and employers to explore alternative healthcare options. As a health plan sponsor, employers are in a unique position to encourage their employees to shop for their healthcare as they do other products or services. Employees might shop around for the best deal on a new TV or lawn care services, but often don’t consider shopping around for their healthcare where the financial impact can be significant.

Navigating healthcare is difficult enough without the burden of shopping around with cost in mind. Encouraging the use of care navigation solutions can help ease the burden of finding the highest-quality care for the lowest cost. These solutions aim to provide positive clinical outcomes for the employee – while yielding cost savings for the employer. The result – healthier, more informed employees and a healthier bottom line.

Contact Your AssuredPartners Team for Support

To learn more about HealthJoy and for additional information on how your organization can best support your employees as they navigate the current economic environment’s impact on their out-of-pocket healthcare costs, reach out to your AssuredPartners team.

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