Levers employers can pull to manage the biggest drivers of healthcare costs

Levers employers can pull

Inflation, a looming recession and a scarce talent pool: employers are up against it all, with fewer levers to pull when it comes to attracting and retaining quality talent. Only adding to the burden is the exorbitant cost of health benefits, typically with no new value to speak of.

It’s a growing concern for employers as health benefits are under more scrutiny by employees and prospects than perhaps ever before. According to a recent survey by the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, eight in 10 employers say that healthcare costs are affecting their ability to remain competitive.

But at Gravie, we know that there are levers to pull to control costs and provide greater value to employees across the board – both current employees and prospective talent.

According to that same survey, drug prices (93%), high-cost claims (87%) and hospital costs (79%) were identified as the most significant cost drivers of employer-sponsored health benefits coverage for employees and their families. Annual checkups and common everyday health issues from the majority of the population are not what’s driving healthcare costs through the roof. Rather, 90% of employers’ healthcare investment goes to benefit the approximately 10% of employees who face more catastrophic or severe health issues leading to emergency care or hospitalization.

It’s stats like these that had the brains at Gravie turning as we developed a health plan to solve for these challenges. We asked ourselves, what would it take to help reduce these high-cost claims and do our part to help individuals get the care they need, when they need it? Rather than making it difficult for employees to utilize their health plan and engage with providers in a healthy way, what if we incentivize it? These questions led us to tearing down financial barriers like deductibles and most co-pays to provide 100% coverage on common healthcare services like primary care, specialist visits, labs and imaging, generic prescriptions, mental health care and more.

The model is working. When compared to individuals on traditional health benefits plans, Comfort™ members experience 7% fewer inpatient hospital encounters and 5% fewer emergency room visits with 6% more healthcare encounters overall. Employees get to use their benefits with less financial concern — and everyone wins when individuals stay healthier.

There’s even another lever Gravie offers for employers as they manage their health benefits investment. Traditionally, small- and medium-sized businesses simply don’t have the employee headcount to offset their claims risk and make self-funding their benefits a viable and frugal option. With Gravie, we give these employers a solution to risk-pool with other businesses providing an onramp to self-funding. With our level-funded plans, employers reap the benefit of a positive claims year with measures in place to ensure cost certainty from month-to-month and stop-loss insurance in place as a safety net.

Health benefits will always be an investment, but at Gravie we’re ensuring that it’s an investment that pays off in a big way– not just for a small percentage of the population but for every valued employee that employers work hard to recruit and retain.