Email to a Colleague

The 2016 benefits trends employers need to know
By Kathryn Moody
From HR Dive on Monday, January 4, 2016
(View Website)

Not everyone agrees with the analogy entirely. Karen Marlo, vice president of the National Business Group on Health, notes that philosophically, it makes sense, especially since health insurance "doesn't work like any other insurance we use in the country." Part of that is simply because (despite the incredible advances in modern healthcare) a damaged car – even one that needs to be replaced – is almost always a less catastrophic event than a human that needs care. Additionally, consumer price negotiation is basically nonexistent, as is.

"I always laugh when I get my EOB back and see the price put down and what the insurance actually pays," she said. "I don't have an ability to call and negotiate a price."

Consumer experience and support tools. On the consumer side, these tools are helping drive costs down by helping consumers understand and pick the plans that would fit them best. "There's been a lot of focus on understanding the behavioral economics of how we choose things," Marlo said. "You can't just put 50 choices in front of employees and expect them to figure it out."

Marlo agreed with this, noting that more employers are beginning to see that they need to "help people along the spectrum overall." Anecdotally, she has seen a lot more excitement about this type of wellness.