Employers have the motivation and the clout to influence the other actors in the system, including their own employees. Employers are the major purchasers of independent health plans. In addition, about half of employer-provided health plans in the United States are self-insured plans, giving employers even more latitude in how such plans are designed and administered. Employers can exert a strong influence on providers, especially through collaborative efforts with other employers. Finally, employers can influence the way employees think about their health and health care. Redefining Health Care discusses why employers have missed the opportunity to drive value improvement in the health care system, and how they can reinforce the shift to value-based competition.
Set the goal of increasing health value, not minimizing health benefit costs
Set new expectations for health plans, including self-insured plans
Provide for health plan continuity for employees, rather than plan churning
Enhance provider competition on results
Support and motivate employees in making good health choices and in managing their own health
Find ways to expand insurance coverage and advocate reform of the insurance system
Measure and hold employee benefit staff accountable for the company’s health value