Big Changes Coming To Employer-Provided Health Insurance

Posted January 11, 2019 by Mary McGinley

Workers and their families could see some big, yet positive changes coming to their employer-provided health insurance in 2019.  

A recent article appearing on the SHRM website indicates some big key benefits that may end up being rather positive. Because the increase in healthcare costs in the U.S. have continued to rise and put pressure on companies of every size and their workers, expect larger employers to add health reimbursement arrangements (HRA’s) to their employees. According to Wade A. Symons, national leader of the regulator resources group at HR consultancy Mercer, that while the potential promise of such changes is generating real excitement in the area of HR benefits, it may take a while for the final rules on HRAs are awaiting Congressional approval.  

Because of the real struggle to fill vacant positions with skilled workers by companies of every size, additional change will likely be coming to the healthcare marketplace.  These changes are likely to come in the form of direct contracting with healthcare providers and employee benefits packages becoming more family-friendly and focused on the needs of everyone covered under a worker’s health plan and paid parental leave for mothers and fathers as well as caregiver leave for workers taking care of a family member.

Also look for employers to offer benefits which also cover mental health and behavioral care for workers and their loved ones. According to Sandra Kuhn, Mercer’s national lead for behavioral health consulting, in 2019 there will likely be, “….an increase in the number of organizations that step forward, with their leadership front and center, to commit to improving the conversation around and services for behavioral health.”

Workers and HR professionals will continue to see convenience and see benefits management and personalization by utilizing technology such as artificial intelligence.