Thought Leadership

What employers want from health insurers - now

Health insurance costs are outstripping wage growth, causing employers to look for more value in their benefit plans. The PwC report from the Health Research Institute (HRI), What employers want from health insurers – now, examines the needs, wants, and satisfaction levels of employers regarding health insurance and benefits to identify and understand emerging themes from the employer's perspective.

Studies show that most employers are satisfied with their health benefits and want to continue providing them to employees. However, employers' expectations of their health insurers are changing, and while many studies in the past have examined the relationship between employees and their employer-sponsored benefits, less is known about employers and what they want from insurance carriers.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Employers reported mixed satisfaction ratings of insurer-provided services with levels of satisfaction lower among smaller employers (under 250 employees).
  • Employers want better data from their health benefit programs, and see an increasing need to measure and manage the costs and value of those programs. Offering new opportunities to data warehouse managers that can effectively integrate data related to employee conditions, utilization, and outcomes.
  • Employers would forgo customized health benefits in exchange for significant, proven cost savings.
  • Employers would prefer to work with fewer vendors to manage their health-related benefits.
  • Nearly 80% of large employers rated wellness services nearly as high in importance as the basic functions of accurate claims processing and provider discounts, but only 50% of small employers agreed.
  • Employers are recognizing that wellness programs coupled with employee financial incentives are most effective. Workers were found to be two to four times more likely to enroll in wellness programs if they receive incentives (i.e. gift cards or premium reductions). Incentives matter, but more is not always better.
Key exhibits – small employer data cut:

Financial Customer service & claims administration Use of technology Population health management
What employers want from health insurers - now

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