Statistics show that more than 40% of Covid survivors have long Covid. Long Covid looks different in each person. Some may have issues with breathing, fatigue, stomach issues, insomnia, chronic kidney disease, and heart damage.
For employers and benefits managers, this means that accommodations for new disabilities are becoming more common. A recent study showed that 23% of Covid patients missed work because of their symptoms. Additionally, 46% had to reduce their working hours. These statistics suggest that employers will have to deal with employees’ new disabilities. Read more about this topic here.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois is being sued by the state for failing to inform the state after it terminated its contract with Springfield Clinic. The fine is $339,000 for violating the “material change notice” requirement that is part of Illinois’ Network Adequacy and Transparency Act. The state alleges that BCBS failed to report this material chance within 15 days, and late fees accumulate at $1,000 per day. You can read more details here.
High-deductible health insurance plans often save money by shifting more of the overall cost of healthcare onto the employee. However, Health Savings Accounts (HSA), help consumers save money (tax-free) to use to pay for medical expenses.
While financial experts agree that consumers should pay for health care out of pocket and invest HSA funds, only 7% of HSA accounts have some of their money invested in mutual funds or other investments. This suggests that most consumers view their HSA as spending accounts and not savings accounts. Read more here.
The pandemic fundamentally changed how consumers use the health care system. For instance, mental health services increased 32%. One thing that has changed is that preventative care is lagging from where it was pre-pandemic. Experts suggest employers use incentives to prompt more utilization of preventative care.
Some further statistics suggest that employees and their families are sicker than pre-pandemic. While preventative care is higher than it was in 2020, it’s still not where it was pre-pandemic. This could be concerning to self-insured employers who rely on preventative services to maintain costs.
Telehealth continues to be big for health care, especially in mental health as is musculoskeletal services which is growing rapidly followed by cancer care. Another statistic is that people with lower incomes don’t seek medical care as frequently as those who are wealthier. This indicates that broader access models are needed to address the needs of all communities. Finally, more companies are spending money on wellness programs aimed at preventative care. All these findings suggest that the integration of services is growing. Read more information here.
In an effort to increase utilization of benefits, centering communication around those benefits at the times in the employees’ lives when they need those services is suggested. Here are seven life transition points to consider addressing.
No matter which benefits you are offering during these life stages, proactively communicating the benefits decreases attrition. Read more about this here.
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