On Nov 7, 2022
U.S. employees are feeling the pressure of healthcare costs, with 8 in 10 concerned about the cost of care and more than half reporting that they have skipped medical tests, office visits, or prescriptions. These findings come from the 2022 Health Care Pressures Facing U.S. Employees report, released today by Hamilton Square-based Berkley Accident and Health.
“Cost-sharing is a major problem for US employees who are struggling with increased out-of-pocket costs due to high deductibles and coinsurance,” said Brad N. Nieland, president and CEO of Berkley Accident and Health. “These costs can place the largest burden on those who are least able to pay, forcing patients to skip care, self-pay, and take on medical debt.”
Key findings of the survey:
- Despite having health insurance, respondents worry about their ability to pay for care, with 84% concerned about affordability.
- 61% admit to skipping a medical test, visit, or prescription due to cost. 56% have paid cash because it was cheaper than using their insurance.
- 38% report having medical debt, with the majority owing between $1,000 and $10,000. The top reason cited for medical debt was an unmet deductible or coinsurance.
- Most respondents find health costs and billing hard to decipher. 69% have received a medical bill they did not expect – typically between $500 and $3,000. Others found it hard to get a price estimate before scheduling a medical service or filling a prescription.
“With these findings in mind, employers and benefit professionals should consider how they can make healthcare more affordable, easier, and more transparent for employees and their families,” explained Nieland. Employee insights such as these can be key tools for shaping a company’s approach to healthcare. Health benefits, which provide a competitive advantage when hiring, should be an integral part of any long-term recruiting and retention strategy.
In addition to insurance protection, Berkley Accident and Health also provides insights and advice for companies wanting to better support their workers. The report offered several strategies for addressing employees’ costs and concerns:
- Review cost-sharing arrangements, in light of average employee income levels and other factors
- Consider a self-funded health plan or a group captive program (for small to midsize employers), which both offer significant economic and strategic advantages
- Help address the complexity of care by offering price transparency tools and patient navigation services
“The goal of this report is to spark dialogue between employers and their benefit brokers. We hope it encourages employers to consider innovative solutions that can move the needle on costs and ease of use,” concluded Nieland.
Read the full report here.
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