“High-performing health and well-being vendors are now vital to employers. They have become a critical component of competitive benefit and well-being programs and strategic to their portfolio.”
- Willis Towers Watson Senior Director Courtney Stubblefield
A recent survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson found that nearly 9 in 10, or 88%, of the 232 U.S. employers surveyed are seeking new health and well-being vendors to provide comprehensive benefits that better meet their workers’ needs and improve overall workforce health. The surveyed employers are looking to add, enhance or end a broad range of health and well-being solutions and services or to partner with a different vendor in the near future. Collectively, these respondents employ approximately 3 million workers.
The survey’s results showed that these employers have already made or are planning to make the following changes to their vendor partnerships:
- Well-being programs and services—Among employers currently offering well-being programs and services, 55% have plans to modify those programs and services over the next two years; 12% made changes in 2022.
- Point solutions for clinical conditions—In the next couple of years, 42% of employers intend to make changes to their point solutions for clinical conditions, including diabetes, musculoskeletal disease, maternity and fertility; 24% made changes in 2022.
- Mental health solutions—Over the next two years, 37% of employers offering mental health solutions plan to alter their mental health offerings, such as clinical and pharmacy solutions and employee assistance programs; 24% made changes in 2022.
- Navigation and advocacy programs—Almost half (40%) of employers offering navigation and advocacy programs plan to modify these programs, including clinical guidance and expert medical opinions, in the next two years; 12% made changes in 2022.
- Digital platforms—Over the next couple of years, 43% of employers are planning to change their digital platforms; fewer than 10% made changes in 2022. These changes include creating digital hubs and health information portals.
Respondents ranked mental health and general well-being as the top focus areas for vendor solutions over the next two years, with financial health ranking fifth.
Health care costs in the United States have risen sharply over the past two decades and will likely continue to increase. Many employers are relying on vendors to design comprehensive and competitive employee benefits packages and deliver cost savings. As more employers have embraced using vendors, their expectations regarding vendor services have increased; employers are searching for vendors that can provide cost savings, integrate with their existing benefits and wellness programs, and drive innovation.
Many employers are currently evaluating their vendor partnerships to assess how well their health and well-being solutions are working, their organizations’ return on investment and employee satisfaction. Employers should continue to monitor health care trends, including vendor utilization and partnerships. Contact Barrow Group, LLC for more health care resources.