Trends in employer health for 2017

With an uncertain future for the Affordable Care Act (ACA), trends in healthcare have become a challenge to predict. However, there are certain areas that employers will undoubtedly address and be affected by, as we move through 2017.

One trend that continues to be certain is that healthcare costs are rising. In response, many employers are offering high deductible plans for employees so they can keep their premiums down. Lower plan costs also help employers reduce their healthcare-related expenses.

US News & World Report cites the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Education Trust 2016 Employer Health Benefits Survey as showing “that annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health coverage amounted to $18,142 this year [2016], up 3 percent from last year.”

There is also a trend toward preventive health and wellness programs. Many employers have recognized that offering on-site programs, such as fitness classes or nutrition education, can keep their employees healthier, which benefits everyone.

A number of employers also offer on-site clinics and that trend continues, even though it dipped somewhat. A research report published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM), 2017 Employee Benefits, shows a slight increase in on-site medical clinics, among those employers surveyed, from 8% in 2015 to 10% in 2016. However, the number dipped back to 8% in 2017.

Elation Health is dedicated to helping employer on-site clinics provide the highest quality care for their patients, to ensure that employee and employer can benefit. Our electronic health record (EHR) system enables clinic staff to focus on their patient care instead of being bogged down in paperwork and administrative work.

Wellness, cost, and convenience are important factors for employers and employees, and are all evident in the trends for employer health in 2017. Employers are more receptive to the ideas of ancillary benefits such as dental, vision, and accident insurance. Additional healthcare options that are becoming more popular among employers include telemedicine and assistance with navigating the healthcare system.