Employer-Sponsored health coverage in the U.S.

Updated: Feb 18

Employer-sponsored health coverage in the U.S.

A large percentage of the U.S. population depends on some form of employer-sponsored health insurance. According to a report of health insurance coverage of the U.S. population published by the Keiser Family Foundation (KFF), employer-sponsored health insurance coverage in 2017 ranged from 40% in Florida to 60% in Utah. Ever wondered how much it costs employers to provide health insurance coverage for their employees? Your guess is as good as mine. Believe it or not, according to an article by Christina Merhar titled what percent of health insurance is paid by employers?, a staggering 82% of health insurance cost was covered by employers for single coverage while employees paid the remaining 18%. For family coverage, employers covered 71% of medical costs, leaving 29% to be paid by employees.

Healthcare costs will continue to increase, at least for the foreseeable future. This leaves employers who wish to provide coverage for their employees scrambling to find ways to rein in the cost. For the most part, employers have continued to shift more financial responsibility to employees. As a result, employer-sponsored health insurance continues to get more expensive for covered employees. This trend puts health insurance coverage at the top of the list of most desired benefits. To cope with limited choice, increasing co-pays and deductibles, employees will have to be smart about their choices of what providers to use. This is where shopping-around "skills" come in handy and today's consumers are getting really good at it.

To stay competitive, employers cannot shy away from doing their part to help meet the healthcare needs of their employees. Employers must therefore find creative ways to reduce healthcare costs. There is no one magic formula that works for every employer. It may take a combination approach to find a solution that best fits your organization or practice. Some insurance companies are taking the initiative to call consumers who receive authorization to have procedures done, before the scheduled date of their procedure. During these phone calls, the insurance representative advises the consumer of the providers within a certain mile range who can offer the services at cheaper rates. This is especially so for outpatient imaging procedures. The goal is to save money by redirecting consumers from hospital imaging departments to independent diagnostic testing facilities, which saves them anywhere between 30 to 70%.

As the saying goes, where there is a will, there is a way. Although employer-sponsored healthcare is an expensive venture, there are many benefits of providing health insurance coverage for employees. The difference it makes in the lives of employees and eventually to the organization's bottom line makes it worth doing.