According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, the “average cost of health coverage offered by employers pushed above $18,000 for a family plan this year.” Gathering their statistics from a poll performed by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the American Hospital Association’s Health Research and Educational Trust, the WSJ states that this 2016 cost is a 3% rise from average premiums in 2015 ($17,545).
The increase from 2015 to 2016 continues a trend of rising employee health coverage that began in 1999 when the total cost of a family plan was just over $5,000. Also rising over the course of the last 17 years are the costs that employees are paying, which have risen from just over $1,000 to an average of $5,277 this year.
“Employers’ efforts to stem cost increases are the major driver behind the shift [to increased employee cost and high-deductible plans with lower premiums] said Drew Altman, chief executive of the Kaiser Family Foundation … ‘Practically, it’s a step they [employers] can take to keep their costs down.’”
Are there other steps that can help?
Many self-insured companies are starting to see the benefits of using tools to analyze their population’s health data – data that’s available but oftentimes left unused. This data helps companies find solutions to not only better understand their health spending but also find solutions to better optimize and manage that investment.
“Data holds the key for employers to manage costs,” Al Rapp, former VP of Worldwide Healthcare for the United Parcel Service, said. “With data, [companies] are able to identify trends, challenges, potential solutions and areas to concentrate on.”
These savings come from being able to utilize what is learned about a population – such as having a large number of employees with untreated high blood pressure – to put programs in place to help a population make changes to impact their health for the better.
Programs like on-site nurses who explain treatment options, group activity programs and dietary consultants can all be put in place – driving positive population health outcomes for your company. Outcomes that not only improve the health of your employees, but also lower health insurance costs for both parties involved.
Ready to discover HealthSpective?
HealthSpective is a robust platform that combines an analytics program (HealthSpective Analyze) and engagement (HealthSpective Engage) to drive positive population health outcomes for your company.
Visit dhsgroup.com/discover or stop by Booth #317 at next week’s Employer Healthcare & Benefits Congress to discover HealthSpective through a talk with our team.