According to Towers Watson's 2015 Emerging Trends in Health Care Survey, 84% of employers predict changes to their health care benefit programs for full-time employees. They want to maximize their investments in health care and achieve higher performance. To qualify as high performing, a program must be aligned with business needs, efficient, affordable and engaging. It must also demonstrate value to the organization.

Employers plan changes to their health care benefits over the next three years

Employers plan changes to their health care benefits over the next three years

The responses of 444 midsize to large U.S. organizations employing 7.2 million employees reveal four major areas that will influence health care strategies:

  • Managing costs. Health care costs have been growing more slowly over the last several years; however, cost trends are still more than double the rate of inflation. Affordability concerns persist for employers and employees.
  • Adding value. Employers are placing more emphasis on quality of care and patient outcomes by using centers of excellence and offering benefit differentials for employees selecting narrow medical networks.
  • Improving employee engagement. Employers continue to take steps that encourage employees to be more active decision makers in their own medical treatment and care options.
  • Leveraging new options. Employers can tap into private and public insurance exchanges as alternatives to the traditional self-managed health plan.

U.S. employers expect to face rising health care costs in 2015

Growing support for private exchanges as a viable alternative for employer-sponsored coverage

Growing support for private exchanges as a viable alternative for employer-sponsored coverage