Study shows why employer plans could benefit from DPC care

Healthcare costs are rising for individuals, independent practices, and employers. One possible solution for all of these stakeholders is the direct primary care (DPC) practice. A recent study shows why employer plans could benefit from DPC care, financially and in terms of their employees’ health and well-being.

According to KFF, employer-sponsored insurance covers almost 155 million non-elderly people. The research organization states that 59% of firms offer health benefits to at least some of their employees. For smaller firms, those with three to nine employees, that number lowers to 49%. Almost all businesses with more than 1,000 employees offer coverage to at least some of their workers. In total, 91% of employees in 2021 worked for an organization that offered health benefits to at least some of its workers.

Although some have questioned the future of employer-sponsored healthcare coverage, the confidence level has actually risen over the past ten years. A survey conducted by Willis Towers Watson found that:

  • Employers are facing increased worker recruitment and retention challenges in a tight labor market.
  • 64% plan to boost their efforts to address employee healthcare affordability over the next two years.
  • 84% were very confident that their organizations would still be offering healthcare benefits in the next ten years while only 38% were very confident in 2011.

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A separate study found that employees would be very interested in the option to join a DPC plan if it were offered by their employer. Results from that study include a number of areas in which the employee and employer could benefit from DPC care.

  • Of the 1,000 study participants, 83% expressed interest in participating in an employer-sponsored DPC plan after being informed that it would lower their costs.
  • 63% of the study participants indicated that cost was their least favorable aspect of their current healthcare option.
  • When asked about sharing costs, 29% of respondents indicated they would be willing to spend between $1 and $20 per month; 32% agreed to contribute $20-$50; and 19% said they would not sign up for a membership if they had to pay anything.
  • The potential ROI for employers who offer a DPC plan for their workers is 11% per employee, per month.

Cost is a growing concern for employer and employee alike. Employers that offer DPC care could benefit from the reduced costs for both employer and employee. In addition, the accessibility offered by DPC providers could mean reduced time off from work for doctor visits and improved health outcomes for the employees. Employers could also benefit from using the DPC plan as a hiring and retention tool, as more individuals learn about the advantages of the DPC model.