In the wake of COVID-19, U.S. life expectancy has dropped to 76.4 years, the lowest in two decades. But employers can help add a dozen healthy years to their employees’ lives by rethinking their approach to healthcare benefits.
The Benefits of Preventative Healthcare
The U.S. healthcare model is reactive and costly, focusing on treatment rather than prevention. However, a recent report found that emphasizing prevention over reaction could extend American health spans by 12 years on average. Ninety-five percent of those added years would be spent in good health. This preventative approach could also save the U.S. health system nearly $4 trillion annually by reducing the need for treatment down the line.
Employers, who provide healthcare benefits to 155 million Americans, are in a unique position to drive this positive change. By tailoring offerings to address the social determinants impacting their workforce’s health, companies can proactively improve outcomes. For example, if a community of employees is identified as having asthma due to poor air quality, the employer should provide them with air filters and AC units. Creative solutions like this can make a real difference.
Leveraging Advancements in Technology
Technological advancements such as telehealth and health monitoring apps further enable proactive for health management. Employers can use these tools to identify emerging employee health problems early and intervene before significant treatment is required. Monitoring platforms also empower employees to take charge of their own well-being.
Thinking Outside the Doctor’s Office
Factors outside of the workplace also affect employee health, so forward-thinking companies look beyond traditional benefits to creatively address external obstacles. An employer might notice many staffers lack access to fresh produce and provide grocery stipends. Or, if a high percentage of workers reside in unstable housing, a company could offer rental assistance.
Transitioning to prevention-focused benefits is a new concept and won’t happen overnight. Employers can start with small pilot programs that target specific health barriers. The belief among many is that these efforts would improve health and could extend lifetimes significantly.
For more employee benefits resources, contact INSURICA today.
Copyright © 2023 Smarts Publishing. This is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as legal advice. Readers should contact legal counsel or an insurance professional for appropriate advice.