Survey: Large Employers Identify Approaches to Manage Rising Health Costs

Large employers project the total cost of providing medical and pharmacy benefits will rise 5% in 2019 to $14,800, according to the latest annual survey by the National Business Group on Health. The total includes premiums and out-of-pocket costs for employees and dependents, with employers covering about 70% and employees 30%. Employers cited high cost claims, specialty pharmacy, and specific diseases as key drivers of cost increases. About 35% reported implementing alternative payment and delivery models directly or through their health plan, and 11% plan to employ direct contracting with health systems and providers in 2019, up from 3% this year. Half of large employers identified implementing more virtual care solutions as their top health initiative in 2019.

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