Health News & Ways to Save on Employer-Sponsored Health Plans

Posted by Seraine Page on Wed, Mar, 08, 2023

Hnews-01In recent health news: Despite the U.S. spending the most on health care, America still has the worst health outcomes among high-income countries.

The report, published by The Commonwealth Fund in its U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective, found Americans are more likely to die younger — from avoidable causes — than residents of other countries. For example, the U.S. obesity rate is nearly double the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) standards.

For American employers, providing useful healthcare coverage is essential in keeping employees well. But it comes at a cost — especially for unhealthy employees who continue to develop more chronic health concerns — and that cost isn’t getting cheaper. Adding more fuel to the fire is the fact that starting April 1, about 15 million people will lose Medicaid coverage, with many switching to employer-based plans instead.

If you provide health insurance to workers or just want to see them generally healthy, this post is for you.

Here’s a look at important recent health news and ways for employers to keep healthcare costs down while also encouraging workers to stay healthy.  

Health News Employers Need to Know  

As one of the richest countries in the world, the recent health news report that indicated the U.S. is accelerating spending without seeing better health incomes is alarming, to say the least.

Here are some examples of the vast differences between the U.S. and other countries:

In 2021, spending stood at around $12,318 per person on healthcare in the United States. Germany, on the other hand, had the second highest spending rate per person at $7,383 in healthcare costs. On average, for wealthier countries, the spending is $5,829 per person.

Even prior to the pandemic, annual health spending had been growing at similar rates between the U.S. and comparable countries, according to the National Health Expenditure and OECD data.

According to the reports, prices of healthcare services are the main reason the U.S. spending is much higher than those of similarly wealthy countries. Additionally, the U.S. spends more than $1,000 per person on administrative costs, which is five times more than the average of other countries studied.

Expect Upcoming Coverage Losses That Impact Employers

In other health news, the end of the continuous Medicaid coverage requirement means the loss of healthcare for around 15 million people.

Of those, more than half will transition to employer-based healthcare, putting more costs on companies, according to a recent report from The Commonwealth Fund.

The coverage will end on April 1, which means states will start disenrolling individuals who no longer qualify. The process takes between 60-90 days per person.

“More than half will be able to transition to employer-based plans or marketplace coverage. However, a large portion (45%) may be disenrolled for administrative reasons despite still being eligible,” states The Commonwealth Fund report.

What does this mean for employers? Employees may need your insurance plan.

That means in the upcoming months, you may expect a lot of confusion from employees surrounding their healthcare options. Work with your HR department to clarify benefits, and enrollment periods, and have updated costs paperwork on hand to share with employees who may need it.

Keep Healthcare Costs Down for You and Your Team

Unfortunately, health insurance doesn’t come cheap — for employees or employers.

In fact, according to the 2022 Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey, individual coverage premiums rose 58 percent, from an average of $5,049 annually in 2010 to $7,911 in 2022.


As an employer, offering resources and affordable healthcare options can make all the difference. It’s worth it to stay updated on various ways your employees — and your company — can save when it comes to healthcare.

Below, you’ll find ideas for ways to keep healthcare costs down for those employees who need better insurance or need to enroll after losing Medicaid:

Tip #1: Offer Flexible Options

When it comes to healthcare, there is no one-size-fits-all. Not everyone needs the same level of care. When it comes to offering healthcare insurance, shop around after conducting an employee survey to see what they need. The employees who need it the most will be the ones who you’ll hear from. 

Tip #2: Offer Health Screenings

Help your workers stay on top of their health by offering quarterly biometric screenings. These useful screenings take blood pressure, complete cholesterol and glucose, weight circumference, and more to give your employees a good look at their health. The results can help them kickstart lifestyle changes necessary to stay well and avoid serious issues like diabetes.

Related: American Diabetes Alert Day: Diabetes Risk Factors You Should Know

Tip #3: Provide Integrated Wellness Programs

Your employees spend much of their days at work. It only makes sense that your company offers opportunities for them to stay healthy overall. Healthy employees are less likely to call out and are more productive. Whether you offer monthly fitness challenges, provide an on-site gym, offer health screenings, or encourage employees to stay active daily, you’re setting your team members up for healthy living.

Tip #4: Follow Up on Aggregate Reports

If you utilize biometric screenings, you should receive an aggregate report with your employee population health numbers. Keeping up with these will allow you to make informed decisions for crafting customized wellness programs to best serve your workers to keep their health on track.

Tip #5: Share Prescription Savings Information

Medicine can be insanely expensive, especially for those who rely on it daily. Find ways through discount programs and your employer-sponsored health plan how your employees can save money. Encouraging generic medicine brands and discount cards like GoodRx can help save your workers hundreds!

Tip #6: Share Nurse Advice Line Information

Nurses are a wonderful resource, especially if they can be called on speed dial. Share your insurance company’s nurse line if there is one. This can save your employees and your company plenty of money by avoiding unnecessary ER or urgent care visits.

Tip #7: Encourage Telemedicine 

Telehealth is another way to save big on healthcare. Virtual appointments also offer 24/7 access, making it easier than ever to get those necessary health appointments in. For minor health issues, it also costs a lot less than in-person visits. A virtual visit is $50 compared to a $740 emergency room visit, according to one U.S. News report.

Related: 25 Quotes About Wellness Your Employees Need to Hear 

A Few Final Thoughts

As you’ve likely witnessed in your own workplace, it’s much easier to keep health in check by using preventative measures. If your employees can stay on top of their health, it’s less challenging than letting it go and dealing with a health crisis.

Preventive measures have a way of giving back:

  • ROI is good for wellness programs - For example, a Duke University workplace health program focused on helping employees better control their cholesterol and high blood pressure had an ROI for its blood pressure ($1.21 to $1.00) and cholesterol programs ($3.39 to $1.00).
  • Employees save money when they take care of themselves - Smokers who spend $5 per pack of cigarettes per day can save $1825 annually by quitting smoking. Plus, companies often offer lower insurance premiums for non-smokers.
  • Routine screenings are essential to keeping good health - Those who keep up with their annual health screenings will catch early diagnoses sooner, which can contribute to a longer and more optimal lifespan, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine.

When you invest in your employees’ health — whether it’s through smoking cessation programs, better health insurance, biometric screenings, etc. — you’re investing in the future health of your company, too. It lowers insurance claims and health care costs when you make those investments.

Keeping a vested interest in the well-being of your employees serves you and them well — now and in the future. 

How does your company do its best to keep employees healthy? Share your thoughts down below!

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Topics: Healthy Workplaces, Wellness at Work


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