A recent survey by Willis Towers Watson reveals that employers are increasingly focusing on managing healthcare costs and enhancing mental health programs as their top health and wellbeing priorities for the next three years. Specifically, 69% of employers are keen on controlling health plan costs and budgeting, while 63% are dedicated to improving mental health initiatives. Additionally, the survey highlights other priorities, including enhancing the employee experience regarding health and wellbeing programs and improving communication around these offerings.
Despite facing a projected 6.4% cost increase next year, employers are keen on balancing cost management with attracting and retaining employees, with 62% emphasizing both aspects. This survey, which involved 457 employers employing over 7 million people, emphasizes the importance of addressing employee needs amid rising healthcare costs.
To tackle healthcare expenses, a significant percentage of employers are implementing cost-reduction programs and shifting some costs to employees. Employers are also exploring strategies such as offering narrow networks of providers and focusing on virtual care.
In the context of mental health, strategies include conducting mental health parity audits, collaborating with employee resource groups, and eliminating cost-sharing for virtual visits. The survey underscores the ongoing need for employers to evaluate their health benefits to align with evolving business priorities and enhance employee wellbeing, productivity, and competitive advantage.