Starting the New Year make sure you are not just asking if insurance is the same, take time to ask for their new cards! You may be suprised to find many patients have new plans. Employers are increasingly integrating their health benefits to achieve cost savings, according to a new report from Anthem.

Anthem has surveyed employers on their interest in integrated benefits biennially since 2014, and, in the latest report, it found that 56% of the 300 polled employers said they are actively integrating medical, pharmacy and ancillary benefits such as dental and vision. That is an increase of 10% from an earlier report in 2018, Anthem said.

Many plans have done a Deep dive into evolving consumer expectations in healthcare today and how leading providers are shaping their infrastructure to connect with patients through virtual care. In addition, 40% of those surveyed said they are considering or considering integrated benefits, according to the report.

Healthcare employers have traditionally purchased health benefits in an a la carte way, with the expectation that this would ensure workers have access to the most high-quality benefits.

Of the employers who are actively integrating benefits, 73% said they are integrating pharmacy benefits into their medical coverage, while 75% said vision benefits, 67% said dental benefits and 63% said disability benefits. The number of employers integrating pharmacy, vision and/or dental benefits each increased by 6% from the 2018 survey, Anthem said. The report also found that most employers (71%) are integrating their benefits through a single carrier instead of multiple carriers, an increase of 11% from 2018. “That’s really how they’re pursing an integrated health strategy, “Companies are more likely to design products that work better together. “However, an integrated approach to benefits allows these offerings to work together to cover members’ healthcare needs in a more holistic way.

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