Could investing in preventative care tools for your employees save you money long term? Absolutely! I'd like to share this staggering quote with you: "Just five chronic disease risk factors — including smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, physical inactivity, and obesity — cost U.S. employers $36.4 billion per year due to missed work (about $1,685 per employee)."
A new report predicts that U.S. employers will face an average 6.5% increase in employee healthcare coverage costs in 2023, partly due to concerns over inflation. This rise in healthcare expenses is not only surpassing wage growth but is also expected to continue increasing in the coming years. However, a major driver behind the escalating health care costs, which hasn't received the same urgency, is chronic disease.
The CDC reveals that a significant portion of the nation's annual $4.1 trillion health care expenditure is dedicated to patients with chronic conditions. Addressing chronic disease is imperative, particularly empowering high-risk individuals to manage conditions like hypertension and diabetes.
Chronic disease costs amass over time, mirroring the slow progression of conditions like Type 2 diabetes. Often, individuals with elevated risk are unaware of their vulnerability. For instance, around 20% of diabetics and 80% of those with prediabetes are unaware of their condition. Relying solely on symptoms as health indicators can lead to unexpected adverse events.
In order to counteract health care expenses in 2023, organizations can explore strategies such as scaling back benefits, increasing employee premiums, or focusing on reducing high-cost care through preventive measures. While the first two are short-term solutions, the third, centered on decreasing health costs through tackling chronic diseases, offers a more lasting impact. This requires a preventive health strategy that engages individuals in meaningful lifestyle changes. Implementing tools like at-home health screening kits can facilitate early detection and preventive care, making health management accessible and boosting worker morale.
As employers and health plans head into 2023, a comprehensive approach to chronic disease management can not only control health care costs but also foster a healthier and more engaged workforce. Check out the full article from Benefits Pro.