Employers aim to enhance mental, emotional, and physical healthcare benefits.
A 2023 study by primary care organization One Medical, The State of Workplace Health, found that 64 percent of 1,600 employees admitted to struggling with their mental or behavioral health. Moreover, the majority of those workers said they are less productive at work because of health issues.
According to WTW's 2023 Best Practices in Healthcare Survey, business leaders have noticed. Of the 457 employers surveyed, about two-thirds are focused on managing healthcare plan costs following a projected 6 percent cost increase in 2024. Almost as many companies aim to enhance mental health and emotional well-being programs.
Nearly four out of 10 employers either already use vendors that reduce healthcare costs or are implementing programs to do so. Another half are planning to implement those initiatives within the next two years.
"Mental and physical health are fundamentally linked, and employees need easy access to comprehensive primary care to help manage their whole health—from preventive and acute care to chronic disease and mental health care management," says One Medical Chief Medical Officer Andrew Diamond.
US workers would welcome the change. The State of Workplace Health found that more than half of respondents feel overwhelmed navigating the healthcare system. That may explain why just 19 percent of employees took advantage of their company's mental health benefits. With businesses still in recovery from the Great Resignation, it behooves employers to keep current team members in good spirits.
"Aligning business priorities, from workforce transformation to healthcare costs to employee well-being, requires a constant evolution of benefit programs, culture, and employee experience," says Regina Ihrke, senior director of the WTW health and benefits division. "By doing so, companies can alleviate strains on attracting and retaining talent, enhance worker health and productivity, and gain [a] competitive advantage."