By Pension and Benefits Editorial Staff
Reigning in benefits spending is a top priority for employers, according to the results of the 2019 Health Benefits Cost Containment Report from First Stop Health. The survey found that 45 percent of employers said that containing benefits spending was their top priority. In addition, employers indicated that they struggle to measure the return on investment (ROI) of their existing benefits, making it difficult, if not impossible, to determine which benefits are working for their organization.
During a 50-year low in unemployment, employers continue to offer competitive benefits to their employees, such as mental health coverage (87 percent), flexible spending accounts (90 percent), and employee assistance programs (94 percent), First Stop Health noted. However, 30 percent of employers do not plan to offer any new benefits next year, and next year’s benefits packages will look remarkably similar to this year’s offerings.
To help manage costs, 40 percent of employers are currently modifying the employer-employee split on premiums. Others are turning to strategies such as telemedicine (35 percent) and claims analysis (35 percent). A smaller number are investigating price transparency (12 percent) or a concierge service (11 percent).
ROI. Employers often struggle to measure the ROI of the benefits they offer. The survey found that 56 percent of employers offering claims analysis/data analytics measure its ROI, but only 22 percent of employers offering telemedicine measure its ROI. This may be because employers do not have a clear approach to measuring telemedicine ROI.
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