Our survey of employer attitudes about health benefits told us a lot about what employers are doing, and what they want to stop doing. Here are 5 things employers want to stop doing:
1. Stop paying for bad employee lifestyles. Bad lifestyle choices are big drivers of expense. Our study shows that employers want to stop being solely responsible for those costs. More than half (54%) are adopting programs that use incentives — and penalties — to encourage employees to take responsibility for their health. A study released last week by Watson Wyatt showed similar results.
2. Stop expecting health plans to deliver customized programs. Health plan offerings are popular — there is a nearly 90% adoption rate for core health plan services. But employers increasingly turn to outside vendors for customized programs to fix bad employee health habits. Health plans are looked to for value-based insurance designs, with 40% of employers looking to implement VBID or similar programs.
3. Stop paying for programs that don’t work. Fifty-five percent of employers said they were reducing the number of health benefits they offer or focusing on those with a proven ROI. With 59% saying cost savings are their top priority, it makes sense that they cut costs where they don’t see savings.
4. Stop confusing employees with too many benefit offerings. Employers have in place 10 or more distinct health benefits, with 60% identifying at least five major programs (EAPs, nurse help lines, health coaching, wellness, etc). Employers want to implement a single point of contact to navigate their programs, with adoption rates of these services expected to triple in the next 2 years.
5. Stop thinking bad medical outcomes are because of bad luck. Sixty-five percent of employers said their employees struggle with making the right treatment decisions when sick. Thirty-five percent said making sure their employees have better quality care was a high priority, with 38% saying they wanted to do more to empower employees to make good health care decisions.
*This blog post was originally published at the See First blog.*