How Companies Are Keeping Employee Health Care Costs Down

**How Companies Are Keeping Employee Health Care Costs Down**



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How Companies Are Keeping Employee Health Care Costs Down

Intro
This is your HR News Flash for the week of February 4, 2019. Your weekly briefing on talent management and the world of work from HR Certification Institute.

#HR #humanresources #HRtech

News Item

56 percent of Americans have employer-sponsored health care plans, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

And the costs for these plans continue to rise. The total average cost of health care benefits now exceeds $12,000 per employee annually.

But many employers are tackling this problem head-on. They are creating initiatives designed to reduce barriers to health care and provide more holistic care for their employees.

On-site or near-site clinics are one solution some employers are trying.

These clinics provide necessary health services at or near work sites. This makes accessing health care more convenient for employees, says Alice Shade, CEO of Sentry Health.

Technology also offers employers solutions that can help control costs.

“Virtual health care solutions are growing rapidly, particularly in behavioral health,” says Dan McMahon, a principal in the Center for Health Innovation at Mercer.

Employers also have a growing number of options for app-based care in areas like physical therapy, he says.

Christopher Lee is a health care consultant and clinical solutions marketing manager at Family Health Centers of San Diego.

He points out that many employers are also embracing advocacy-based plans that encourage holistic care.

“Most of us don’t know 100 percent of what’s in our insurance benefit plans until a need comes up, so that’s why it is critical to have an advocate, case manager or care coordinator to inform patients and engage them in taking better care of their health,” Lee says.

Advocacy-based plans can help employees better utilize their health benefits, improving their health and saving employers money in the long run.

Outro
Well, that’s your HR News Flash for the week of February 4, 2019 from HRCI. Thanks for listening, and check back next Monday morning for the workplace news you need. HRCI prepares HR leaders for the digital age. Learn more at HRCI.org

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