The 19th Annual Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care tracks employers’ strategies and practices, and the results of their efforts to provide and manage health benefits for their workforce. This comprehensive report, The New Health Care Imperative: Driving Performance, Connecting to Value, identifies the actions of high-performing companies, as well as current trends in the health care benefit programs of U.S. employers with at least 1,000 employees.

The survey found that employers are clearly committed to providing subsidized health care benefits to active employees, even in an environment of continued health care cost increases, uncertainty about some provisions of health care reform and an economy that is slow to recover.

Despite a moderate health care cost trend of 4.1% (after plan changes) in 2013, costs continue to rise above the rate of inflation, thereby exacerbating concerns about companies’ long-term ability to provide these benefits.

Still, high-performing companies were able to manage costs by implementing the most effective tactics for improving workforce health.

The survey was completed by 595 employers between November 2013 and January 2014. Respondents collectively employ 11.3 million full-time employees, have 7.8 million employees enrolled in their health care programs and represent all major industry sectors. Learn more about the strategies employers are implementing in their health benefit programs, and gain insight into the actions of top-performing companies, by reading the full report.