• The majority of Americans (71%) are satisfied with their current employer-sponsored health plan, according to a new survey by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). In fact, 56% said their health plan is the reason they’ve stayed at their current job. Luntz Global Partners​ polled 1,000 U.S. workers with employer-sponsored health coverage on behalf of AHIP.
  • The cost of healthcare continues to be a major concern for Americans. The survey found that 71% of respondents worry that healthcare costs will continue to increase. At the same time, comprehensive benefits ranked higher in importance among respondents (58%) than affordability of plans (42%).
  • Nearly half of respondents (46%) said their health plan was either a deciding factor, or a positive influence, in the decision to take their current job. Respondents said the most important benefits are prescription drug coverage (51%), preventive healthcare (47%) and emergency services (47%).

 

Employers and workers have good reason to be worried about rising healthcare costs. An Aon study released in August predicted that 2018 would bring the highest healthcare cost increases in three years for U.S. employees.  Driven by out-of-pocket cost-sharing and medical inflation, healthcare cost increases were predicted to rise by 7.2%, up from 6.9% in 2017.

Healthcare coverage is a key benefit for attracting and retaining talent. Employers that offer comprehensive health plans have an edge over their competitors, a Clutch study shows. More than half of the employees polled by Clutch said healthcare was the greatest driver of job satisfaction. But a quarter of employers — mainly small businesses — don’t offer health coverage. In today’s thin labor market, employers must compete heavily for talent, and that includes offering health coverage.

Innovation around plan design and care delivery continues to accelerate despite failed attempts to reform the healthcare system. Large employers in particular have adopted high deductible plans with health savings accounts in order to improve workers’ options and encourage consumerism in healthcare. Those trends won’t die out anytime soon.

On a much broader scale, insurers and private companies have announced their intention to transform the healthcare industry itself. This was made apparent last week, when Amazon, JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway announced plans to form a joint healthcare company. Details on the partnership are scarce at the moment, but the hope among industry leaders is that this and other private sector efforts will move the needle forward toward delivering savings to the average worker.

 

Feb. 8, 2018

www.hrdive.com

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