As an employee benefits professional, perhaps the following statistics will come as no surprise:
Annual employer health insurance family premiums rose 5% to average $20,576. In contrast, inflation rose only 2%.¹
The U.S. spends almost 18% of its gross domestic product (GDP) on healthcare—and about 30% of that money is wasted.²
In 2016, the U.S. spent nearly twice as much as 10 high-income countries—and performed less well on many population health outcomes.³
Is there anything employee benefits professionals can do to make a difference and improve healthcare in the U.S.?
IBM Watson Health, in partnership with SourceMedia Research, surveyed 280 benefits professionals at self-insured large companies to uncover the top five strategies that those who want to
change healthcare—whom we call “activists”—use. This white paper may inspire HR professionals such as you to make benefits changes in your own large company.
The Activists Among Us
An activist employer is frustrated by the status quo—and is willing to do something about it. Activists don’t complain but take action, both inside and outside their
organization to change the way healthcare is delivered in the U.S
Activists seek to not only improve the lives of their employees but to create a ripple effect throughout the U.S. healthcare system. As payers, activist employers seek to
collaborate with other industry stakeholders to find a balance between quality and cost.
The survey categorized employer activism based on responses to nine attitudinal statements. Among survey respondents, 21% satisfied the survey criteria of high activists, 28%
are moderate activists, and 51% are low activists, based on their responses to nine attitudinal statements (see Figure 1).
Employer activism definitions are based on respondents’ agreement to nine attitudinal statements:
- I am satisfied with the status quo within my organization—disagree completely
- Maintaining a predictable daily schedule at work is important to me—disagree completely
- I want to improve employee benefits by any means necessary— agree completely
- I am comfortable analyzing data to understand employee needs/identify trends—agree completely
- I thrive in dynamic work environments—agree completely
- In the last 12 months, I have taken on complex projects without being asked to—agree completely
- In the last 12 months, I have challenged why inefficient processes exist within my organization—agree completely
- In the last 12 months, I have provided solutions to inefficient processes within my organization—agree completely
- In the last 12 months, I have provided solutions to employee benefit gaps—agree completely