How the pandemic has shifted large employers' healthcare strategy

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how large employers are planning for healthcare costs and benefits for their employees, according to a survey from the Business Group on Health.

The 2021 Large Employers' Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey asked employers about their virtual care offerings, cost drivers and benefit design changes for the coming year. The survey consisted of responses from 122 large employers covering more than 9 million lives. Seventy-seven percent of respondents had more than 10,000 employees.

Four findings to know: 

1. More than ever before, employers view health and well-being investments as an integral part of their strategy. Forty-five percent said the investments are important in 2020, compared to 36 percent a year prior. 

2. More than half (53 percent) of large employers said they are going to implement more virtual care solutions. 

3. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they're going to implement new mental health benefits. Thirty-one percent are going to get a more focused strategy for high-cost claims.

4. Employers are expecting about a 5 percent increase in healthcare costs next year, but care delays and deferments may change this. 

Read more here.

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