“Health care cost increases continue to outpace workers’ earnings and increases in inflation, making this trend unaffordable and unsustainable over the long term.”
Brian Marcotte, President and CEO, National Business Group on Health
The annual National Business Group on Health (NBGH) Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey indicates no end to spiraling health care costs. The survey of large employers projects that the total cost of providing medical care and pharmacy benefits will rise by 5 percent during 2019, increasing the average cost per employee from $14,099 to $14,800. Employers will cover roughly 70% of the total costs.
According to Brian Marcotte, NBGH CEO, a growing number of employers are taking an activist role to try to modify the delivery system:
- 35% are implementing alternative payment and delivery models, either directly or through their health plan.
- Direct contracts with health systems and providers are expanding, up from 3% of respondents in 2017 to a 11% in 2018.
- Virtual care solutions, including telemedicine and a collection of other digital and remote services, continue to gain traction. 52% of employers believe that virtual care will play a significant role in healthcare delivery.
Pharmaceutical “rebate-driven” supply chains are identified by nearly all respondents as a primary cause of inefficiency and an unnecessary burden on consumers. A majority of employers (55%) also voiced increasing concern regarding the opioid epidemic and the impact of prescription opioid use in the workplace.
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