Containing Costs of Chronic Health Conditions
Chronic conditions are health conditions that require ongoing management over an extended period of time. They are the leading drivers of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs. Thus, they are significant sources of financial stress for employers and employees alike. According to the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, employer health care coverage for an employee with a chronic condition is, on average, five times higher than coverage for those without a chronic disease. The most common chronic conditions affecting the workforce today include cancer, diabetes, obesity and heart disease.
Fortunately, employers can help combat chronic conditions; this could, in turn, reduce your health care costs and yield a healthier workforce. Consider the following strategies:
- Focus on prevention by making preventive care affordable through medical benefits and encouraging the use of such critical care.
- Be accommodating and offer arrangements (e.g., alternative worksites and flexible work options) to help make chronic care management and treatment more accessible.
- Make it personal by identifying programs that offer targeted messaging and support to keep employees informed, engaged and motivated to make healthy choices or changes.
- Consider programs that address the common causes of chronic conditions (e.g., tobacco usage, unhealthy diet and a lack of physical activity).
Ultimately, you’re uniquely positioned to influence and encourage employees to manage their conditions and develop healthy lifestyle habits. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s critical to get regular health care back on track so your employees can better manage their conditions and improve outcomes.
Additional articles from the July 2022 edition of the Univest Employee Benefits Newsletter:
- Philadelphia Re-Enacts Emergency Paid Sick Leave Benefits
- Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2023
- HR Action Steps for Employee Name Changes
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