The cost of providing healthcare for employees has risen dramatically, evidenced by the proliferation of high-deductible health plans and the attempt to better share the cost burden among all stakeholders. The average employer cost of providing healthcare insurance in 2022 was $6,584 for an individual and $16,357 for a family—a 43% increase over the previous decade.1
In theory, higher out-of-pocket healthcare costs should result in individuals taking better care of themselves to avoid paying more. However, greater financial responsibility leads many to delay or skip care altogether, which can ultimately lead to poorer outcomes and higher costs—quite the opposite of the intended goal.4
By 2028, more than a quarter of the U.S. workforce will be 55 or older.9 Since older adults typically have more chronic conditions, the economic impact on employers could be significant.
Chronic diseases are the leading cause of disability and death in the U.S.5 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 60% of adults in the U.S. have a chronic disease and that 40% have two or more.6 Conditions like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and obesity have increased exponentially. In addition to higher healthcare costs, chronic conditions such as these have led to significant employer costs related to absenteeism, presenteeism, and reduced productivity.
$1T is the annual economic impact of unaddressed chronic disease among employees.7
$36.4B is the annual cost to employers from reduced productivity due to unaddressed chronic disease.8
The Growing Obstacles to Participation in Healthcare
Non-participation drives nearly $300 billion in avoidable healthcare costs annually.13
Managing chronic diseases often presents challenges, including instances of non-participation in prescribed care. This can involve difficulties in completing medication courses, adapting to lifestyle changes, or attending wellness and follow-up appointments. Various factors, such as affordability of medications, side effects, work commitments, or childcare responsibilities, can impede adherence to care plans. This non-participation, often resulting from these and other complexities of life, can lead to worsening conditions and increased healthcare usage, impacting both employers and employees.
The Epidemic of Participation Challenges
Research shows personalized health and wellness programs yield better results than standard one-size-fits-all programs.14
A solution lies in adopting strategies that assist members in utilizing their health benefits more effectively. By providing additional benefits and resources, employers can play a supportive role in enabling members to better understand and manage their health conditions, navigate the healthcare system, and make the most of their health plan benefits.
A Win-Win for All
Care plan non-participation is a complex issue with far-reaching implications that impact the nation’s healthcare costs and an employer’s bottom line. Benefits managers must develop more proactive solutions that address member participation challenges in a way that lowers employer costs and provides a holistic experience for their members. Partnering with Conifer Health can help.
Through the intervention of Conifer’s personal health nurses, members are empowered to take control of their health while employers can take control of their costs. Partner with Conifer Health and let’s win together!