As we look to the coming decade, employers will need to continue to evolve their benefit solutions. This last decade of strategic benefit planning has paid off with health care trend holding flat, but still outpacing inflation. To deliver sustainable benefit solutions, employers are examining all their benefit spend – including pharmacy and ancillary plans – to contribute to their overall benefit objectives. Ancillary plans include dental, vision, life, disability and supplemental health plans like accident, critical illness and hospital indemnity.
With the majority of employers already offering pharmacy and ancillary plans, they’re re-examining these plans to get the most value out of them. The goal is workforce health, productivity and happiness. That’s because there’s an undeniable connection between pharmacy plans, ancillary plans and overall health:
- 75% of doctor visits involve drug therapy.1
- 47% of Americans have periodontal disease and certain medical conditions are impacted by oral health.2
- 100s of systemic diseases detectable through the eyes.3
- 10% of disability claims account for more than 50% of total medical and disability costs4
Employers are looking to harness the pharmacy, ancillary and health connection to deliver more value out of their existing benefits spend. It’s a classic sharpening of the pencil to get more results at no additional cost.
Today’s strategic benefit planning for pharmacy and ancillary plans includes these considerations:
- Implementing an integrated health care model (or integrated benefits) to increase workforce health, productivity and engagement. Integrated health care is a big-data, employee benefits strategy that connects pharmacy and ancillary data to an employer’s health and wellness plan.
- Bundling benefit plans through one carrier to streamline benefits delivery and qualify the employer for savings on their health care premium.
- Providing access to supplemental health plans to meet the diverse needs of employees. Although the majority (57 percent) of employers offer a supplemental health plan,5 there is an opportunity to provide greater access by benefit line and increase employee job satisfaction. Specifically, only 35 percent of employers offer accident insurance, 40 percent offer critical illness insurance and 26 percent offer hospital indemnity insurance.6
Learn more about these strategic benefit strategies and examine additional strategies by benefit line in the Pharmacy and Ancillary Benefits Outlook Report, 2020 Edition.
Jason Kinzy is a marketing manager at Anthem, Inc. and is responsible for the promotion of Anthem’s specialty business (dental, vision, voluntary, life and disability plans) to members, employers and brokers. He has 20 years of health care marketing communications experience.