HR Leaders Say: “Every Company Is a Healthcare Company”

As we emerge from the chaos of 2020, we’ve heard one theme loud and clear: employee health and wellness has never been more important. Companies large and small are looking for ways to offer more support for their workforce, and HR leaders told us they’re increasing their investment in benefits across the board — from mental health support to financial wellness initiatives to chronic condition management and more. 

And as you continue to play a more active part in your employees’ health, many influential voices are starting to come to the conclusion that every company is now a healthcare company. 

You may be in the manufacturing, retail or entertainment space, but you also source, implement, configure and reconfigure dozens, if not hundreds, of healthcare vendors, plans, resources and other benefits for your employees. You have a critical role in determining how and where your employees seek care. And as healthcare costs continue to rise, your guidance can be the difference between curbing healthcare spending and throwing money down the drain (for your employees and for your organization). 

That means it’s time to get even smarter about the benefits you offer, how you communicate them to employees, and how you can nudge them towards even smarter healthcare decision-making.

We recently surveyed HR leaders and CXOs to learn their thoughts. What does your company’s leadership think about today’s expectation that companies invest and adapt a growing portfolio of health plans, policies and solutions? Here’s what we found:

Many HR leaders agree

Many HR leaders and CXOs agree (though reluctantly) that they now consider themselves healthcare companies. These organizations understand the critical role they play in their employees’ health, but many responses note that they’re spending huge amounts of time, money, and resources to provide their employees the support they seek.  Others point out that to curb costs, it’s essential to provide more in the way of preventative benefits and wellness offerings, further cementing their standing as healthcare companies.

What is your reaction to the following statement?
Every company is becoming a healthcare company.

“It’s true, because there is so much you have to know regarding cost of coverage, wellness plans, what factors go into buying health insurance, can we offer more than one health insurance option, etc.”“Every company wastes valuable time and resources going through all these programs and vendors. If this was streamlined, it wouldn’t be such a big problem.”
“True, in the sense that all companies, no matter what their specific field is in, are having to put a lot more thought and energy into healthcare.”“Every company is spending too much trying to deal with healthcare needs and expectations.”
“It makes sense because healthcare benefits are becoming increasingly complicated and expensive.”“If your company wants to compete and save costs on healthcare it has to become a “healthcare company.” Providing preventative benefits and programs such as wellness, gym membership, etc. improves the health of the employees and therefore lowers the cost of healthcare.”
“This is very much true. In the U.S., it is incumbent upon employers to ensure employee wellbeing and it has become an expectation to be competitive.”“I honestly believe this is true. The rising costs are making all businesses take a closer look at their healthcare benefits.”
“Accurate, too much time and energy are wasted on healthcare costs.”“It’s true, we all have to help manage our employees’ health.”

Others are middle-of-the-road

Other HR leaders and C-suite folks agree with this concept in theory, noting that it’s now the company’s responsibility to invest in the health and happiness of their employees. 

What is your reaction to the following statement?
Every company is becoming a healthcare company.

“Companies are offering more options to cater to employees’ needs.”“I think it’s true to a certain level. Every company, or at least most of them, are providing healthcare benefits to their employees.”
“I think every company should be that invested in their employees health and should “become a healthcare company.”“I do not believe that every company is becoming a healthcare company as much as companies are recognizing it’s their responsibility to their employees.”
“Companies are very involved with employees and encouraging employees to understand benefit costs.”“This is true in my opinion, as keeping employees happy and healthy should be the top priority for every company.”

Others are on the fence

A third group of HR leaders eschew the notion that every company is a healthcare company, a few noting it’s not realistic and others citing it as an overreaction.

What is your reaction to the following statement?
Every company is becoming a healthcare company.

“It’s not realistic or even possible.”“This is an overreaction.”
“I don’t think that’s true, but I don’t think that would be a bad thing if it was.”“I really don’t think that every single company is becoming a healthcare company, I think that is an exaggeration.”
“I disagree. I think benefits are being narrowed and there is less to choose from.”“Every company is becoming too focused on employee health.”

What does all this mean? Despite the range of reactions, the pandemic illuminated that in many ways, you’ve become a healthcare company. Not only are you learning about sanitation stations and ever-changing CDC guidelines, but you’ve also invested, over and over again, in healthcare and benefits for your employees.  

But as investments keep increasing, and costs keep rising, you need to take the reins to control healthcare spending. And to do that, your HR leaders and company leadership need to align on priorities and tactics. Read the report to learn more.

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Learn more in HR and the C-Suite: Out of Sync on Out-of-Control Healthcare Costs.

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