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Survey Report

2022 Best Practices in Healthcare Survey

Highlights of key findings

January 31, 2023

Employers are facing many challenges associated with healthcare costs, affordability and mental health programs. Explore actions you can take now to deliver positive outcomes.
Health and Benefits|Benessere integrato

U.S. employers balance controlling healthcare costs with boosting affordability and enhancing mental health programs

Employers are bracing for a higher-cost environment as rampant inflation and market forces fuel a projected rise in healthcare costs of 6% for 2023 (Figure 1). This is a one-percentage-point hike over the 5% increase expected in 2022 and higher than 2022’s wage growth of 5.3%.

Findings from our 2022 Best Practices in Healthcare Survey suggest we are entering a period of  sustained cost increases. Seven in 10 employers anticipate moderate to significant increases in healthcare costs over the next three years.

Budgeting can become challenging in these circumstances. Over half of respondents (54%) expect their costs will be over budget in 2022. Fewer than a fifth (15%) expect their costs to be at budget.

Competing priorities: Cost management, affordability, enhanced benefits

In this higher-cost environment, over two-thirds of employers (67%) plan to prioritize managing their organization’s healthcare plan costs over the next three years (Figure 2).

What are your organization’s top health and wellbeing priorities over the next three years? (Select at most the top five options)
67% - Mental health and emotional wellbeing: Enhance mental health and emotional wellbeing programs and solutions; 67% - Company costs: Manage company’s healthcare plan costs; 52% - Diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI): Add/Enhance benefits that reflect services important to unique populations and provide fair opportunity to attain the highest level of health and wellbeing that meet employees’ needs; 42% - Employee affordability: Achieve health program costs that are affordable for employees, especially lower-wage employees
Figure 2. Employers’ key priorities over next three years

But, at the same time, employers understand that to attract, engage and retain talent in today’s tight labor market, it is important to offer benefits that are affordable and competitive. Accordingly, employers rank employee affordability as a key priority, especially as it applies to lower-wage workers.

Additionally, many employers are looking to strengthen their employee health and wellbeing programs. Given the toll the pandemic has taken on employees’ emotional health, employers ranked enhancing mental health and emotional wellbeing programs as their top priority along with managing costs.

Employers also recognize the urgency of meeting the needs of a diverse workforce, addressing the many social factors that influence health and treating all workers in an equitable and inclusive manner. With this in mind, over half of survey respondents (52%) indicate they plan to prioritize adding or enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion in health and wellbeing benefits.

Managing these competing priorities requires planning ahead to identify high-impact opportunities to mitigate costs, improve affordability, and strengthen health and wellbeing programs.

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About the survey

A total of 455 U.S. employers participated in the 2022 Best Practices in Healthcare Survey, which was conducted in August 2022. Respondents employ 8.2 million workers.

Manufacturing 22%, Financial services 15%, Healthcare 14%
General services 12%, IT and telecom 11%, Wholesale and retail 11%, Energy and utilities 8%, Public sector and education 6%
Respondents by industry

Percentage of enrolled employees (average)

19% Fully insured medical plans

81% Self-insured medical plans

22% - 100 to 999; 29% - 1,000 to 4,999;
15% - 5,000 to 9,999; 18% - 10,000 to 24,999; 15% - 25,000 or more
Employer size (number of employees)
Related content tags, list of links Survey Report Health and Benefits Wellbeing United States
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