Lessons from COVID: Health care transformation starts when employers demand value

It’s time to challenge the idea that the only way to reduce costs is to give up services or access.

Real health care transformation will only happen when those who purchase health care benefits—employers—start demanding more value from their investments.

COVID-19 Upended The Status Quo For Every Employer In Every Industry. But How Are We Embracing This Opportunity For Innovation?

Health care benefits present a sizeable opportunity for improvement. New data estimates that in 2019 our national health care expenditures reached a staggering $3.8 trillion—nearly 18% of the U.S. economy. Employers pay a huge chunk of this cost.

According to a 2020 Kaiser Family Foundation survey, 89% of workers are employed by a firm that offers at least some health benefits. On average, covered workers contribute only 17% of the premium for single coverage and 27% of the premium for family coverage. So, who’s picking up the rest of the tab?

The data tell us employers are paying up to 83% of health premiums. Yet despite this substantial investment, employers and their employees increasingly are dissatisfied with what they get in return, as evidenced by a 2020 benefits study by The Hartford that showed a 7% drop in workers’ value perception in just three months.

Clearly, COVID-19 has shined a light on the cracks in our benefits system. Costs continue to rise, while the service and value employers get from benefits providers continue to fall. If the pandemic hasn’t upended employers’ approach to health benefits, it should.

Read the full article here.

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