Consumer empowerment is a significant driving force in today’s benefits solutions landscape. While popular in theory, it results in a shift of more responsibility of critical choice to the employee, who is trying to make vital health care decisions, but feels ill equipped, alone, and confused about what the best decisions may be:
- According to a 2015 survey by the Kaiser Foundation, nearly two-thirds of American adults say it’s difficult to find out what medical care will cost; only 3% actually shopped for price among doctors and just 2% for hospitals.
- 57% of insured Americans are unaware that physicians charge different prices for the same care, according to PublicAgenda.org.
Our National Survey of Employer Sponsored Health Plans shows that employer strategies to promote consumerism and engage employees in improving their health habits are in full swing, with 82% of employers offering access to price transparency tools that can generate significant savings for employees. And advances in health technology are making their healthcare navigation experience more personalized and more powerful. So here are two questions to ask as organizations gear up for 2018 and beyond: Do your employees have access to good information about the cost and quality of healthcare services in their markets? And is your health and benefits platform an inviting place for them to go to find this and other future-ready benefits solutions?