Key survey findings:
– Confidence is strong
Despite uncertainty about health care legislation, employer confidence in offering health benefits reached its highest level since the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010. Ninety-two percent of employers said they are “very confident” their organization will continue to sponsor health benefits in five years.
– Cost pressures remain
Employers expect health care costs to increase by 5.5%1 in 2018, up from a 4.6% increase in 2017. They plan to step up cost management strategies over the next three years, including evaluation of emerging health care delivery solutions and improved patient navigation and health engagement.
– Creating a cost advantage
Best-performing companies have created a cost advantage of more than $2,000 per employee per year (PEPY) over the national average by adding value through a broad set of activities to control costs and improve workforce health. Their cost advantage over high-cost companies rises to more than $3,500 PEPY.
– Emphasizing clinical conditions
Employers put more emphasis on specific clinical areas – notably diabetes (76%), musculoskeletal (69%) and mental health (65%) – to improve member health and reduce costs.
– Proactive management of pharmacy benefit costs
Employers take more aggressive steps to curb pharmacy costs and utilization (particularly for specialty) by re-examining benefit contract terms and looking beyond PBMs to integrate with the medical plan.
– Prioritizing the employee health experience
Over the next three years, employers plan to improve the employee experience by adding choice, providing decision-support tools, and enhancing enrollment platforms and navigation.
– Health and well-being as a key competitive advantage
Increasingly organizations view their health and well-being programs as a key factor to attract talent, and many organizations plan to broaden their efforts to support employees’ physical, emotional and financial well-being.