In preparation for expected cost increases, companies are seeking new ways to offer health care perks, Axios reports.
What’s happening: “Employer health costs are expected to see their largest jump in a decade [this year and next], but many companies facing an ongoing workforce crunch are hesitant to pass along those costs or cut back benefits. Rather than adding on a host of new benefits, employers are trying to shore up gaps in coverage of areas like mental health and women’s health while also keeping a lid on costs, experts say.”
Why it’s important: Companies—many of which are still trying to attract and retain enough workers to meet their needs—are also being squeezed by medical inflation.
- “Right now, the name of the game for employers [in health care benefits] is differentiation,” one source told Axios.
Most valued: Here’s what employers may offer during the autumn benefits season, owing to worker demand and expectation:
- Menopause support
- Inclusive and equitable benefits, such as ones with provider networks that “reach underserved populations and neighborhoods” and those that help LGBTQ+ employees
- Health-adjacent benefits, including “lifestyle spending accounts,” which can be used for gym memberships or home exercise equipment
- Free care for almost everything, except urgent and emergency care
The NAM says: “Manufacturers feel a deep commitment to providing quality health care for their employees despite the increased costs and challenges of doing so,” said NAM Director of Domestic Policy Julia Bogue.
- “The NAM recently released ‘Manufacturers on the Front Lines of Communities: A Deep Commitment to Health Care,’ a report which outlines industry-wide health benefits and trends.”