Employer-Provided Coverage: Health Care That Works

posted by AHIP

on June 21, 2019

Most Americans are satisfied with their health coverage. In USA Today, Matt Eyles, AHIP President and CEO, explains why. Read the full piece below.

For more than 180 million Americans, access to health care and coverage comes from a partnership between employers and health insurance providers – and this is a partnership that works.

It isn’t just because the average employer pays more than 70% of the cost of each employee’s coverage. It works because employees receive important protections and peace of mind knowing that broken bones won’t break the bank. It’s no wonder that employer-provided coverage is popular; a poll released last year revealed that more than 70% of Americans are satisfied with the coverage they get at work.

Affordable Access & Incentivizing Innovation

Effective plans offered through employer-provided coverage (EPC) will cover preventive care and make extra benefits available for vision and dental health. This 360-degree approach to health coverage gives Americans affordable, comprehensive access to care. This system also empowers employees to improve their health while ensuring financial security for themselves and their loved ones by incentivizing wellness.

Another emerging health care delivery source available in some EPC plans – telemedicine –  isn’t just helpful for patients on the go. It is critical for vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities and rural communities far from medical centers. This technology brings the doctor to the patient from the comfort of their computer or smartphone, minimizing their exposure to hospitals and reducing the distance between patients and doctors. Between 2015 and 2018, the share of large employer plans covering telemedicine rose from 27% to nearly 75%.

Consumer Choice

Americans have more choice and control over their coverage and care than any other country in the world. In fact, around 70% of covered employees at large companies have a choice of more than one health plan. When evaluating which health plan to select, employees should look for options that provide the right amount of coverage for a price that fits their budget. One effective way to achieve this is by utilizing Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) – a key function of many EPC plans. Approximately 22 million Americans have Health Savings Accounts, which allow them to set aside money on a pre-tax basis for qualified medical expenses. This gives them more control and better flexibility to invest their health care dollars in ways that best fit their personal needs.

Health insurance providers are constantly working to improve the health care system. Employer-provided coverage is a critical part of what’s working today and what we must build upon for tomorrow.