American Workers are Frustrated with Their Healthcare

Working Americans are growing tired of healthcare as usual. This dissatisfaction is seen in the falling rates of visits to primary care providers. 

• PCP visits made by adults under 65 dropped nearly 25% from 2008 to 2016, 

• And adults who went at least a year without a PCP visit increased from 38% to 46% 

Low Net Promoter Scores in primary care (-1.7) indicate that patients are frustrated with the status quo—confusing out-of-pocket costs, long wait times, and feeling rushed through a system more concerned with patient quotas than health outcomes. 

Benefits are your differentiator

This frustration with traditional care is mirrored in what workers are expecting out of their employers and other benefit sponsors. In today’s employee market—hiring challenges that give employees bargaining power to choose the job they want—a competitive salary alone doesn’t cut it. A 2018 Randstad survey found that: 

• Only 39% of employees were satisfied with their current benefits 

• 66% said that benefits are the largest determining factor in considering a job offer 

• 61% would take a lower salary for a better benefits package 

And it’s not just employees. Employers are seeing a cost trend that will be untenable in just a few short years. Alongside an average annual spend trend increase of 6.5%, a recent survey found 87% of employers believe their health benefits costs are unsustainable. 

While you wait to evolve your health benefits, costs continue to climb—and workers grow more and more frustrated. 

Champion employee health with direct primary care 

But this doesn’t need to be your organization’s trajectory. Instead of resigning yourself to a health benefit that keeps getting more expensive while delivering the same outcomes, take out a new page with direct primary care. 

According to the American Academy of Family Physicians: 

DPC benefits patients by providing substantial savings and greater access to, and time with, physicians. DPC allows family physicians to care for the whole person while reducing the overhead and negative incentives associated with fee-for-service third-party-payer billing. 

Instead of being subject to variable cost drivers—traumatic health events, ER visits, emergency surgeries, and missed work all due to unmanaged health conditions in a workforce—employers and organizations can offer a health benefit that features a flat, recurring fee that’s easy to understand and scalable. 

Access to primary care = the foundation of a better benefit 

And perhaps most importantly, workers having access to a primary care provider is simply good for health. Note that, according to data from a national insurer of roughly 20 million people, visits to primary care providers made by adults under 65 dropped by nearly 25% from 2008 to 2016.  

“[Primary care is] the foundation of the healthcare system.”

Dr. Ishani Ganguli, Harvard Assistant Professor of Medicine

Why does this matter? Research shows that people are healthier when they see a primary care doctor, rather than a specialist, for their routine care. Where there are more primary care providers per capita, death rates drop for cancer, heart disease and stroke, among other illnesses — and life spans lengthen. 

And better health means not only a more productive, happier workforce. It means fewer cost drivers related to unmanaged conditions that are causing benefit expenses to spiral. 

What could you reinvest in if, after five years, you had saved close to a third of your original benefits costs? 

Reach out today to see how refreshing your healthcare benefit can refresh the loyalty, engagement, and health of your working population.