Employers’ Investment in Health Benefits Is Shifting 

For decades, employers relied upon large insurance carriers to handle employee benefits such as physical health care, mental health services, and dental and vision care. But in recent years, more employers have invested in nontraditional solutions for specific conditions while striving for more convenient care at a lower cost.  

In addition to investing in direct-to-employer arrangements for primary and acute care, many employers have invested in solutions to assist employees with health management, wellness and prevention, and behavioral health treatment.   

In a 2022 survey by Mercer, 84% of respondents said they are enhancing benefits in 2023 to attract talented employees and improve retention. Enhancing behavioral health care is the top priority for survey respondents, with 88% of employers surveyed taking action to improve their mental health services, and 67% saying they plan to prioritize mental health and wellbeing services in the next three years. 

Providing more mental health support is particularly strategic for employers as many workers have found themselves reevaluating their work-life balance. After three difficult pandemic years, employees are facing unprecedented levels of substance abuse, depression, stress and anxiety. Employers are turning to apps such as Calm and Headspace to offer more support.  

The survey also found that offering family-building benefits such as lactation rooms and adoption assistance, better support for reproductive health, and virtual solutions for physical and mental care are popular choices for employers seeking to expand their benefits.  

While many employers recognize that a diverse benefits package can assist with employee satisfaction, they can rarely find single vendors who offer “one-size-fits-all” packages. As a result, many employers contract with several providers, leading to vendor fatigue and confusion about the actual results vendors can deliver.  

In today’s tougher economic climate, many organizations plan to analyze their benefits offerings and vendors to determine which ones drive the best results. Vendors who can point to favorable outcomes and cost savings will show value as employers expand their offerings and potentially consolidate care in 2023 and beyond.  

To learn more about how Vanderbilt Health can help your organization provide innovative, value-based care for common and costly health conditions, set up a consultation with the Employer Solutions team. Among the solutions offered is Vanderbilt’s MyHealth Bundles program, which offers predictable costs for employers and supportive care for employees for complex and costly conditions such as pregnancy, hearing loss, joint and back pain, kidney stones, weight loss, and substance abuse.