Employers are the largest purchaser of health care in the United States, providing benefits for over 153 million people. Buying or changing health insurance plans is a significant decision for an employer. With so many products and services on the market, it can take time to consider what benefits and services employees want.
Technology is transforming just about every industry. The healthcare and employee benefits industries are no different. As advances in digital health technology continue, it increases the opportunities for employers to expand digital health capabilities for better care at a lower cost while increasing engagement. If you're an employer seeking enhanced employee benefits, here's how technology will change employer-sponsored health programs.
In recent years, employers have increasingly recognized the importance of employee health and wellness. Healthier employees are not only happier and more productive, but they also have lower healthcare costs.
Many companies are adopting innovative, tech-enabled solutions to help employees manage chronic conditions or other health needs. These programs empower employees to take charge of their health, improve their overall well-being, and provide solutions to manage chronic conditions or different health needs, such as chronic illnesses like diabetes, mental health, and infertility. Tech-enabled services provide employers with innovative patient-centered programs to address wasteful healthcare spending.
According to Kaiser Family Foundation's 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey, 96% of employers offer telehealth as a benefit. Employees should be able to access health offerings through engaged digital health platforms, depending on their health needs and desired interaction use.
For many employers, healthcare costs are one of their largest expenses. Traditionally, the focus has been on treating employees when they get sick or injured rather than preventing illness and promoting long-term health. However, innovative tech-enabled solutions now provide employers the tools to move beyond this approach and invest in long-term healthcare management.
Wearables and digital health platforms are just a few examples of these solutions. Wearables allow employees to monitor their health metrics and make informed decisions about their health, while digital health platforms provide employees with access to a range of health-related resources and tools for managing chronic conditions.
Comprehensive healthcare management doesn't stop with digital health applications. Digital health is integral to advancing companies' initiatives in employees' long-term health management. More than 2021 survey said they had recommended the use of smartphone and tablet apps to their patients to monitor and track their care, while another 36% have recommended smartwatches and other wearables capable of monitoring heart rhythm and rate, blood pressure, glucose levels and more.
Building virtual care options into employee healthcare benefits packages can help avoid instances where employees' health conditions go unaddressed or are mismanaged or mistreated.
As the healthcare industry embraces technology, employers face an increasingly complex landscape of options. When adding healthcare technology, employers should consider the following:
By keeping these considerations in mind, employers can make informed decisions about adopting healthcare technology that best supports their needs and the needs of their employees.