An analysis from Gallagher identifies ways “best-in-class” employers are controlling health care costs.
Tag: employer health benefit costs
In a ruling in favor of a health benefit plan sponsor, a federal court judge lays out prudent processes the sponsor took to select and monitor service providers and monitor the plan’s fees.
Willis Towers Watson identifies lessons employers can learn from what it deems “best-performing” companies in its annual Best Practices in Health Care Employer Survey.
“Telemedicine stands out as the fastest-growing health care cost-management technique among employers,” says Julie Stich, associate vice president of content at the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans.
Only 33% of employees surveyed by Maestro Health say they completely understand the health coverage offered through their employers, and 62% indicated they feel their employer does not serve as a resource for their health care-related questions.
"Our services have always met a fiduciary standard in principle and have enabled us to drive significant year-over-year savings for our clients, with an average savings of $1,650 per employee in 2018," says Eric Krieg, president of Risk International’s Employee Benefits Advisory division.
The 2018 Health Enhancement Research Organization (HERO) Scorecard Progress Report also found offering targeted lifestyle management services and having a formal, written strategic plan in place for well-being improve physical wellness program outcomes.
Transformation in health care delivery, focus on high-dollar claims and drug costs, and continued movement to account-based plans are among the list for what employer health benefit providers and advocates see happening in 2019.
The first component of the initiative is a portal that will help employers focus on the metrics that are most impactful to their bottom line and provide a clear course of action to capitalize on incremental opportunities.
Less-healthy enrollees are more likely to disenroll from the HSA-eligible health plans than healthier enrollees, according to an EBRI study.
More favorable claim experience and a reduction in provider reimbursement rates were cited by respondents to Buck's 37th National Health Care Trend Survey as two key reasons for the projected slowdown in trend increases in 2019.
However, while 71% of employers see a positive impact on company health benefit costs from wellness programs, more than one-third say they do not offer these programs, the Transamerica Center for Health Studies found.
More midsize and large employers are foregoing the short-term savings offered by cost-shifting and turning to strategies addressing care delivery and health management, Mercer finds.
“Employers can now identify opportunities to develop local provider strategies that improve quality and lower costs,” says Todor Penev, with Aon.
Employers also plan to enhance their wellbeing programs and include initiatives that reduce the impact of chronic diseases on employees, Willis Towers Watson finds.
Mercer projects that health benefit cost per employee will rise by 4.1% on average in 2019, down from 6.5% and 5.3% in previous years.
More than half of employers (52%) believe virtual care will play a significant role in how health care is delivered in the future, while 43% believe artificial intelligence will play a major role, according to a survey.
Selecting the "wrong plan" may cause employees to pay more without getting more coverage or benefits in return,” HSA Bank says, and Chad Wilkins, president of HSA Bank, points out it could cost employers as well.
“Employers can help workers most at risk better manage their care—and save an average $430 annually per employee,” Mercer says.
Also being considered is legislation for expanding benefits of HSAs.