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9 in 10 employers plan to change health and wellbeing vendors in next two years, WTW survey finds

February 7, 2023

Ability to address broad range of employee needs fueling employers to evaluate their vendor partner strategy
Health and Benefits

ARLINGTON, VA, February 7, 2023 — In a move to address a broad range of their employees’ need, most U.S. employers are making changes to their vendor partnerships that provide healthcare and wellbeing benefits to their employees, according to a survey by WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), a leading global advisory, broking and solutions company.

“High-performing health and wellbeing vendors are now vital to employers. They have become a critical component of competitive benefit and wellbeing programs and strategic to their portfolio,” said Courtney Stubblefield, senior director, WTW. “However, in an effort to meet the needs of their employees and improve worker health, employers are taking a close look at the value and cost savings their vendors promise. What’s more, they are ready to make changes as needed.”

Indeed, the survey of 232 U.S. employers found nearly nine in 10 respondents (88%) are planning to make changes to their vendor partnerships either this year or next. Such changes include adding, enhancing or ending various solutions and services, or working with a different vendor in the foreseeable future.

The primary changes respondents have made or are planning to make to their vendor partnerships include:

  • Wellbeing programs/services: Among respondents that offer wellbeing programs and services, over half of respondents (55%) are planning to make changes over the next two years. Over one in 10 (12%) made changes in 2022.
  • Point solutions for clinical conditions: Among respondents that offer point solutions for clinical conditions, over four in 10 respondents (42%) are planning to make changes to their point solutions for clinical conditions such as diabetes, musculoskeletal disease, maternity and fertility over the next two years. Almost one in four respondents (24%) made changes in 2022.
  • Mental health solutions: Among employers that provide mental health solutions, more than a third of respondents (37%) are planning to make changes to their mental health solutions, including employee assistance programs and other clinical and pharmacy solutions, over the next two years. Almost one in four employers (24%) made changes in 2022.
  • Navigation and advocacy programs: Among employers that have navigation and advocacy programs, four in 10 respondents (40%) are planning to make changes to their navigation and advocacy programs, including clinical guidance and expert medical opinion. Over one in 10 employers (12%) made changes in 2022.
  • Digital platforms: Among respondents with digital platforms, over four in 10 employers (43%) are planning to make changes to their digital platforms, including digital hubs and health information portals. Seven percent of respondents made changes in 2022.

The survey also found respondents ranked financial wellbeing fifth among their top areas of focus for vendor solutions over the next two years. Mental health was ranked first, followed by general wellbeing.

“All employers need to consider vendors as part of their strategy to address the diverse needs of their population. Companies prioritize ROI but need a broader definition of ROI that includes choices based on driving quality, filling the gap in core offerings and lowering cost. At the same time, they should evaluate if the solution is working, how to optimize current partners and whether they need to embrace innovation in the market. This balanced approach will offer a better experience for their employees,” said Regina Ihrke, senior director, WTW.

About the survey

A total of 232 U.S. employers participated in the 2022 Vendor Strategy Survey. The survey was conducted in November. Respondents employ 3 million workers.

About WTW

At WTW (NASDAQ: WTW), we provide data-driven, insight-led solutions in the areas of people, risk and capital. Leveraging the global view and local expertise of our colleagues serving 140 countries and markets, we help organizations sharpen their strategy, enhance organizational resilience, motivate their workforce and maximize performance.

Working shoulder to shoulder with our clients, we uncover opportunities for sustainable success—and provide perspective that moves you.

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