U.S. employers expect health care costs to rise by 6% in 2023 – almost twice the rate of anticipated inflation1. This comes on the heels of a 5% cost increase in 20222.

Businesses like yours, in turn, are likely scrambling to keep these price hikes manageable. The crux of the challenge: Doing so without shifting too much cost share to employees. After all, nearly half of insured adults already struggle to afford out-of-pocket costs. One in 4 have difficulty affording their deductible3. Even more, high health care contributions can lead to employee resignations – a reality best avoided on today’s hiring landscape.

Switching plans or providers? Look for these features.

Shopping health care plans is an obvious option if you’re looking to decrease premiums and overall spending. The million-dollar question, though, is what’s the trade off? At what point do diminished benefits outweigh cost savings – and how do you avoid that tipping point?

With this tug-of-war in mind, we looked at what we believe are the more palatable characteristics of some relatively affordable health care plans. Many plans that keep costs under control share the following characteristics4 – which might be a great place to start if you’re looking for a plan or provider that prioritizes cost-management:

  • They contract directly with doctors and hospitals for in-network coverage. Fewer cooks in the kitchen, so to speak, means more financial efficiency – and more savings passed along to you and enrollees.
  • They require preapproval for scheduled inpatient services. This translates to more legwork, yes, but nonetheless drives cost savings plan-wide.
  • They offer telehealth services. A positive correlation exists between remote diagnostic and treatment options and lower plan costs overall. Remote tele-behavioral health options are also becoming hallmarks of more affordable plans.
  • They offer wellness programs. Plans with health and wellness programs and incentives also tend to have lower premiums – though they do often require exercise or diet tracking for enrollees looking to fully capitalize on savings.
  • They pay a higher share of costs for care received at centers of excellence. A term for healthcare systems known for the highest levels of care, centers of excellence appeal to insurers because they’re more likely to offer top-notch (and therefore more cost-efficient) expertise, practices, and outcomes.

Looking for more ways to control your company’s rising health care costs? Join the hundreds of businesses and organizations that lean on myHR Partner. Reach us at ryan@myhrpartner.com.



1 https://www.forbes.com/advisor/investing/inflation-outlook-2023//
2 https://www.entrepreneur.com/growing-a-business/how-to-disclose-company-financials-like-a-boss/300861
3 https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/all-things-work/pages/curbing-rising-health-care-costs.aspx
4 https://www.shrm.org/hr-today/news/all-things-work/pages/curbing-rising-health-care-costs.aspx