As we head into open enrollment season and employers revisit their health benefits strategy alongside their brokers, we’re collectively asking ourselves a few critical questions. What are consumers looking for and expecting this year? As employers, what can we afford? What new solutions are on the market? And what’s the smartest way we can invest in health benefits?
In 2022, as we slowly emerge from a pandemic and navigate our new normal in work and in life, a few trends are emerging that are worth talking about – whether you’re selling, buying or using employer-sponsored health benefits.
Mental health awareness and need for care is stronger than ever before
The era of mental health services being “nice to have” has long since passed. Sixteen million Americans live with major depression, and 70% of mental health patients have one or more comorbidities. Even on the acute side, mental health care coverage is critical as people are realizing the significance of wellness from a holistic approach, increasingly focusing their attention on physical and mental wellbeing.
When looking at health plans for 2023, mental health care is essential. Gravie understand this fundamental need: with Comfort™, members can avoid further stress because they know their visits to their mental health care office or clinic are fully covered – no need to jump through additional hoops to get care. We want to empower people to take the necessary steps to care for their health before it becomes critical. Healthy people – mentally and physically – is the goal.
Tech solutions are rising in popularity
Necessity was the mother of innovation throughout the pandemic, and this is especially true as it relates to technology. Consumers can do almost anything from the comfort of their home, from shopping to working and now meeting with physicians. Expectations are forever changed. Consumers not only want digital solutions but by now they know a good experience from a bad one. Convenience, user-friendly navigation, mobile accessibility and more are marks of what today’s consumer is looking for in their technology.
How can health benefits keep up? Digital care solutions that used to be rare are now expected. If it can be addressed virtually, it should be offered – especially for general medicine, but also for things like mental health, dermatology, musculoskeletal care and more.
And as individuals navigate an already confusing healthcare system, resources should keep up too. Over half of all internet traffic today is on mobile, so apps that offer exceptional user experience will stand head and shoulders above competing solutions.
In Gravie’s case, a variety of digital solutions are available for members, starting with an easy-to-use and one-stop-shop member portal, and the new Gravie app for members to track their plan, keep documents or send messages. Then there’s the suite of digital plan perks. Teladoc provides virtual care for general medicine, mental health and dermatology. Sword for MSK brings physical therapy care directly to people in the comfort of their home, while FitOn + Peerfit encompasses easy-to-access daily exercise for better overall wellbeing.
A great digital experience helps people enhance their wellness journey and keep up with modern consumer expectations.
Affordability for consumers
According to our recent research, 64% of individuals avoid or delay healthcare services due to cost – and these are individuals who have health insurance! These numbers are staggering and prove that our system is not working in the way it’s intended.
Affordability can come through different means. At Gravie it looks like this:
- Increasing what’s covered to encourage healthy engagement with healthcare services in order to avoid more costly and catastrophic issues down the road
- Removing unnecessary barriers like deductibles that dissuade engagement
- Introducing solutions like Gravie Pay™ for members to pay for needed services at their own pace
If our system isn’t working as intended, then it’s time to fix it. With the Comfort model, people keep more money in their bank accounts – employers save an average of 16% annually as members invest in their health in new ways, and members save at least $80 per month on out-of-pocket expenses.
The long game: looking ahead to next year
Open enrollment is the time many employers may choose to shop around for new plans. Health benefits are an important decision for the health of employees and the company budget. But the time and energy spent looking at so many versions of the same traditional plans could be better spent – so why would it be worth it to explore new options? Brokers are often scrambling to find that best product on the market, that holy grail of health plans that gives their customers what they want and keeps them renewing year after year. At Gravie, we are confident that we’ve found the solution.
Increase in health benefit cost could be one reason people look for a change. Gravie keeps it simple for all involved by keeping costs of renewal rates low year after year. While the national average renewal rate increase ranges from 8-12%, Comfort comes in below national average at 4.4%. It’s one reason that 93% of employers are renewing with Gravie compared to the national average of 66-75%. We’re also staying one step ahead of consumer trends to provide an unmatched experienced for our members.
All four of these considerations for 2023 are proof that the health benefits landscape is changing and companies providing these benefits need to stay ahead of the game. At Gravie, we’re proud to be ahead of the curve in each of these areas. From the latest in innovative tech-based services to a care model that supports members’ health and controls costs — it’s no wonder that people are starting to catch on that partnering with Gravie for their health benefits year after year has many advantages.
Want to learn more about how Gravie can help you impress your clients with better care and cost savings? Contact us — we’d love to tell you more!