Health benefits are top priority for employers but managed haphazardly

Dive Brief:

  • A Harvard Business Review Analytic Services survey of 150 business leaders found that most think health benefits are a priority but take a hands-off approach in managing them, Employee Benefit Advisor reports. 
  • Half the survey respondents considered the benefits teams in their respective organizations to have a strategically important role. However, Ali Diab, CEO for Collective Health, told EBA that they should be asking about the healthcare industry and why Americans pay so much into a system that gives so little back.
  • Although just half of the survey respondents saw benefits as important, EBA says that some leading organizations are beginning to treat benefits like any other aspect of business and with positive results, such as holding down costs and basing plans on what employees want rather than on cost analysis alone.

Dive Insight:

Employers who take a hands-off approach to managing health benefits aren’t addressing the questions Diab posed. EBA reports that healthcare costs are on an upward spiral towards $1.2 trillion for U.S. employers. These costs are expected to rise 6% annually for the next 10 years. Employers must actively manage their health benefits to contain costs and to ensure that employees receive the best medical services possible. 

A good sign in the survey results is that 66% of the respondents said they care about employee health and wellness. More employers are turning to technologies that focus on employee engagement with health benefits, including making them easier to understand.

Filed Under: Comp & Benefits
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