March 12, 2018

United States, Washington, DC

Frustrated by paying for the volume of health services delivered rather than the value received, and by the uncoordinated and fragmented care their workers receive, employers are taking meaningful action to transform the health care system. This is the message of Leading the Way: Employer Innovations in Health Coverage, a new report from the American Benefits Council and Mercer. 

“Employers’ role in our health care system is often taken for granted. But the case studies in this report clearly illustrate that employers, in their capacity as plan sponsors, are saving lives and helping to restrain costs” American Benefits Council President James Klein said. 

The paper describes programs developed by a diverse collection of large employers, designed to (1) align payment with value, (2) incentivize quality care, (3) personalize the employee’s experience, and (4) embrace disruption in the health care market. A new website hosted by the Council, Spotlight on Innovations in Health Care, includes these and other stories, and will be continually updated. 

“Employers have a rich heritage of driving innovation in health care benefits,” said Tracy Watts, Mercer’s US Health Reform Leader and member of the Council’s Board of Directors. “The stories highlighted in our white paper exemplify how successful employers can be in managing cost, driving better quality and outcomes, and improving workforce health and productivity. Taken together, these efforts can have a positive impact on employer bottom lines and America’s competitiveness in the global economy.” 

The report will be shared with policymakers in Congress, the executive branch, state officials and other opinion leaders to underscore the importance of enabling employers to address the challenges of our current system. 

“Economists and some lawmakers frequently criticize the tax incentives that support employer-provided coverage. This report shows that employers have been successful where the government has struggled,” Klein said. For decades, American businesses have demanded that high quality health care should be rewarded and poor quality care must be ‘called out’ and fixed.” 

For more information on health policy matters, or to arrange an interview with Klein or Ilyse Schuman, senior vice president, health policy, contact Jason Hammersla, Council vice president, communications, at jhammersla@abcstaff.org or by phone at 202-289-6700 (office) or (202) 422-4652 (mobile). To arrange an interview with Watts, please contact Bruce Lee, US PR leader for Mercer, at bruce.lee@mercer.com or by phone at 212-345-0553. 

To download a complimentary copy of Leading the Way: Employer Innovations in Health Coverage, please visit https://goo.gl/u1Ej6P or https://www.mercer.us/our-thinking/healthcare-reform/health-reform-and-american-businesses.html

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The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council’s members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans. Follow the Council on Twitter @BenefitsCouncil. 

Mercer delivers advice and technology-driven solutions that help organizations meet the health, wealth and career needs of a changing workforce. Mercer’s more than 22,000 employees are based in 44 countries and the firm operates in over 130 countries. Mercer is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marsh & McLennan Companies (NYSE: MMC), the leading global professional services firm in the areas of risk, strategy and people. With nearly 65,000 colleagues and annual revenue over $14 billion, through its market-leading companies including Marsh, Guy Carpenter and Oliver Wyman, Marsh & McLennan helps clients navigate an increasingly dynamic and complex environment. For more information, visit www.mercer.com. Follow Mercer on Twitter @Mercer.