What do employers want? Simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

Survey findings reinforce that employers want simpler and more cost-effective health plan options to choose from.

The way a health plan is designed matters because it has implications on costs, outcomes and experience — and employers are taking note.

A survey conducted by Advisory Board and commissioned by UnitedHealthcare found that the majority of employers are prioritizing health plan designs that are characterized by simplicity and cost-effectiveness.

The report found that:1

  • 77% of employers are investing in plans that are simple for employees to understand
  • 59% of employers are investing in plans that provide upfront cost information
  • 57% of employers are investing in plans that reward employees for seeking cost-effective care
  • 56% of employers are investing in plans that reduce employees’ upfront costs

Given today’s competitive labor market and rising employee expectations, employers are looking for ways to support their employees with a simpler health care experience that also keeps costs in check.

“If members are having an outstanding health care experience, that reflects well on the employer first and foremost,” says Dr. Gerald Hautman, chief medical officer for UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. 

Simple matters

In addition to the 77% of surveyed employers who reported currently investing in plans that are simple for their employees to understand, 47% of all respondents indicated they were even willing to leave their carrier, broker, consultant or vendor to improve the health care experience for their employees.1

This research underscores the importance of offering a health plan that provides a digital- and mobile-first experience that is easy to navigate.

“Consumers want their health care experience to match their other online experiences — easy to navigate, transparent pricing, easy-to-access reviews, secure purchasing and quick delivery,” says Samantha Baker, chief consumer officer for UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual. “During a time where costs are rising everywhere and there are many options, UnitedHealthcare is focusing on simple, personalized, digital-first plan designs and product offerings to give control back to the consumer.”

Cost-effectiveness matters

When employers were asked which plan designs had the greatest potential to transform health care over the next 5 years, 64% of all surveyed employers selected health plans that help reduce employees’ upfront costs.

That percentage was even higher among large employers: 71% among employers with greater than 10,000 employees and 70% among employers with 1,000 to 10,000 employees.

That’s why the copay-only health plan Surest® is gaining a foothold. With Surest, members can check cost and coverage information for specific procedures, treatments and services before scheduling an appointment. In fact, a third-party study found that the Surest health plan led to lower claim costs, exceeding $400 per member per year.2

“The drivers of emerging plan design will certainly be about finding a balance between consumer-friendly plan designs and plans that help employers manage their costs.” 

— Craig Kurtzweil, Chief Data & Analytics Officer, UnitedHealthcare Employer & Individual

Current broker or employer group client?

Access uhceservices to check commissions, manage eligibility, request ID cards and more.