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According to Willis Towers Watson’s 2022 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey, 94% of employers reported that managing their health care benefits will be their top priority over the next two years. Due to the state of the labor market, employers will likely avoid shifting costs to employees. By implementing effective strategies, employers can prepare for and combat rising costs.
5 Strategies to Help Employers Address Rising Costs
1. Cost-Effective Care
Employers can reduce their overall health costs by directing employees to cost-effective care. This could include helping them avoid unnecessary out-of-network care or directing them to low-cost outpatient care facilities or inpatient care options. Employers can encourage employees to compare and shop for the best health care coverage.
2. Health Care Literary
Well-informed employees are more likely to reduce health care costs by making better care choices. Employers can help employees become better health care consumers and avoid unnecessary treatments or expensive procedures through education.
Health care literacy should be part of an employer’s normal workforce training. Information can be communicated in a variety of ways including benefits portal, emails, texts, webinars, or infographics. Include health plan details and links to health care resources. Also try to educate employees year-round and not just during open enrollment.
3. Health Care Technology
Technology can help employees access and review their benefits and make better, cost-effective choices. Telemedicine has become an accessible and affordable way to treat employees by offering flexible and cost-effective care. By providing more frequent and quicker care, employees can stay healthy and reduce overall costs. This can be especially true for those with chronic conditions and complex diseases, which are often the largest drivers of health care costs. In addition to telemedicine, employees can use virtual health programs and digital physical therapy solutions to stay healthy and reduce costs.
4. Broker/Agent/TPA Assistance
Many employees are asking their insurance broker, agent, or third-party administrator (TPA) to help them address their rising health care costs. Employers are looking for information detailing their organizational health care expenditures or asking for help on educating employees on how to shop for the best care. Some brokers or agents are providing employees with increased health care transparency and advocacy services to help them reduce their costs.
5. Health Plan Benefit Design
According to WTW’s survey, approximately three-quarters of health insurers believe managing a health plan’s network of care providers is crucial for managing rising costs. Flexible and innovative health care offerings such as leveraging advanced primary care (on-site or near site clinics, telemedicine, centers of excellence, etc.) or integrating health care benefits can allow employers to expand care options, improve employee health outcomes, and reduce health care expenses.
Increased health care costs will likely continue to impact employers for the foreseeable future. Employers should consider implementing strategies now, as some may take some time to generate savings. Proactively enacting solutions now will likely help the employer be better positioned to manage such costs and prioritize employee benefits affordability. Download the bulletin for more details.
National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.