The Business Group on Health released its annual survey, which dictated that cancer is now the biggest driver of employer health costs. This annual survey examines large employers’ strategies around benefit design, cost management, and other healthcare strategies. This year, 13% of employers who partook in the survey said they had seen a significant increase in late-stage cancers among their employees. The survey was completed by 135 large employers covering more than 18 million lives within the U.S.
The top three conditions that are fueling health care costs include:
- Musculoskeletal conditions
- Cardiovascular disease
Why Cancer Is Now The Top Driver
After analyzing the results from the survey, cancer is now the top driver of employer health care costs, most likely due to COVID-19 increasing delays in care and preventive services. Between 2019 and 2020, there was no increase in health care costs. As a result, there was an 8.2% spike in 2021.
In 2022, employers expect to cover 82% of their workers’ health costs. This number has risen from 80% in the previous year. Employers are more reluctant to shift costs onto employees due to rising healthcare costs. Now, employers are considering alternative reforms, including advanced primary care and centers of excellence. A center of excellence is a program within a healthcare institution assembled to supply an exceptionally high concentration of expertise and related resources centered on a particular area of medicine, delivering associated care in a comprehensive, interdisciplinary fashion to afford the best patient outcomes possible.
Additionally, employers are focusing more on policy efforts to lower healthcare and prescription drug costs. Prescription drugs accounted for 21% of employer health costs in 2021. More than half of that percentage was just for specialty medications. Employers are more concerned than ever about the increase in prescription drug costs.
What Will You Do As A Business Owner?
While this new survey dictates that cancer is now the top driver in health care costs and prescription drugs are on the rise, as an employer, how will you protect your employees and your business? When you partner with GMS, you gain access to a GMS’ Rx specialist in addition to HR, benefits, payroll, and risk management expertise. Your Rx specialist will aid in searching for the most competitive prices on any prescription costs to save both you and your employees time and money. We offer flexibility, control of premiums, access to data and networks, and overall options that you can’t find elsewhere. Allow your employees to get the healthcare they need. Contact us today.