Employers may step up fight for lower health care costs in 2020 – Axios


Employers will probably step up their efforts to rein in health care costs subsequent yr, a brand new PwC Health Research Institute report predicts, partially as a result of they’ve almost maxed out their capacity to dump costs onto workers.

What they’re saying: “2020 probably will likely be, in some methods, a turning level in the lengthy arc of employer-sponsored insurance coverage, a yr in which extra employers fight again,” the report’s authors write.

The large image: Employers’ medical costs are anticipated to rise by 6% subsequent yr, due to drug costs, persistent illnesses and better entry to psychological health care.

  • Employers have dealt with rising health care costs over the past decade primarily by rising workers’ cost-sharing, however that technique may have run its course.
  • At least one-third of workers in the HRI survey stated they did not manage to pay for saved to pay their deductible.
  • Employers “are at a really attention-grabbing form of crossroads … and now it is time to get lively and begin engaged on worth,” stated Ben Isgur, HRI’s chief.

Between the traces: Nothing retains enterprise’ health care costs in test higher than wholesome staff — and employers are getting more and more hands-on in that pursuit.

  • They’re getting extra lively in the supply of major care, together with worksite health clinics. Some are additionally negotiating contract costs and setting up their very own supplier networks.
  • Employers can even nudge workers towards lower-cost suppliers and extra environment friendly types of care — for instance, making an attempt bodily remedy earlier than surgical procedure.

The backside line: Employers are the health care system’s sleeping large. Prices will go down when employers resolve to make use of their huge political and monetary leverage.

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