Healthcare is increasingly at the forefront of your employees’ consciousness. For the past eight years, Alight, a cloud-based HR and financial solutions firm, studied American consumers’ attitudes towards health, wellness, and employer-sponsored healthcare. While its 2018 report shows an increase in engagement and accountability, many employees still don’t understand the basics of our healthcare system. At Canopy Health, we know they deserve better.
Employees Value Their Health and Healthcare Benefits — But Are Unsure About Their Access to Care
The 2018 survey shows that Americans now equally value their physical, emotional, and financial wellbeing. While some employees are building a better understanding of their health plans, out-of-pocket expenses, and the quality of their care, a sizeable group are making negative healthcare decisions. 40 percent of the survey participants reported that they delayed medical treatment, declined healthcare coverage, or decreased their medications to help pay their other healthcare costs.
Due to their intersecting concerns about financial stability and health, most employees recognized the importance of employer-sponsored health plans. 82 percent of employees thought health benefits were a solid business investment, and 59 percent of employees stay at their jobs because of their employer’s health plan. However, only 14 percent of employees thought that the American healthcare system is “headed in the right direction.”
And while most Americans value their wellness, their outlook also varies from generation-to-generation. 55 percent of Baby Boomers consider their emotional and physical wellness to be “going well,” but only 46 percent of Millennials feel the same way. Younger Millennials are especially concerned about debt and their financial wellness, which is likely fueling their interest in more cost-effective treatment options, such as telemedicine.
More Employees Are Taking Proactive Steps to Improve Their Health
As an employer, you have a vested interest in your workforce’s health and welfare. Chronic illness can significantly diminish your team’s productivity and increase your healthcare costs. By building a culture of health within your organization, you’ll improve morale, decrease employee attrition, and become more profitable.
Perhaps because they increasingly value their health and wellness, employees report that they are taking more steps towards a healthier lifestyle. This includes:
- Regular medical screenings
- Improved sleep habits
- Healthier diet choices
- Increased daily exercise
- Healthier work-life balance
These simple changes can significantly reduce your workforce’s risk of suffering preventable, expensive health complications. Additionally, you might consider adding incentives to your health plans that encourage physical activity and healthy lifestyle changes.
We Need to Improve Overall Healthcare Literacy and Transparency
Employees are becoming more engaged in their healthcare decisions, as well. The 2018 survey shows an increase in the number of employees who:
- Research health issues and their health plan’s features
- Ask questions of their healthcare providers and health plan administrators
- Compare their healthcare options, including cost and quality
However, 51 percent of Americans still don’t know where to find their health plan information.
While Americans are slightly more engaged in their healthcare decisions, there’s still a lot of room for improvement. According to the 2018 study, 60 percent of healthcare consumers never bother to compare prices at medical facilities or bring information with them to appointments. Similarly, less than 25 percent of employees could properly answer nine out of ten questions about healthcare pricing and plans.
This data is consistent with other sources that suggest most Americans have a very limited understanding of how to manage their healthcare costs and choose a plan that meets their needs.
There are multiple factors that impact healthcare literacy. At Canopy Health, we believe we can improve our members’ health care experience through:
- Coordinated Care: Members build a relationship with a skilled primary care physician who oversees all their care and helps them avoid unnecessary or duplicate procedures.
- Shared risk: Our physicians are assessed on the quality and efficiency of their care and are financially incentivized to provide the best possible care with an increased focus on preventive care and wellness programs.
- Transparency: We will soon offer tools that help members understand their out-of-pocket costs and compare prices at Canopy Health facilities.
Additionally, our carrier partners offer a variety of high-quality health plans with varying premiums, co-pays, and deductibles.
Kantar Consulting (2018). 2018 Consumer health mindset study: Current situation: Engaged and confused. Alight. Retrieved from https://ideas.alight.com