News: Employers can expect more than $13K per employee in 2023 healthcare costs, analysis finds

CDI Strategies - Volume 16, Issue 35

An increase of $13,800 per employee in healthcare costs is expected in 2023, according to an analysis posted by Aon. This projection of a 6.5% increase is more than double what employers experienced from 2021 to 2022, Healthleaders reported. Still, the research stated it remains significantly below the 9.1% inflation rate that the Consumer Price Index reported. Aon used data captured information for nearly 700 employers, representing about 5.6 million employees.

Many medical claims were suppressed for employers in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, when care was postponed or skipped, but such claims have returned to typical levels of growth this year. Employers can anticipate inflationary cost pressures in the coming year as employees utilize care more. Inflation, new technologies, severity of catastrophic claims, blockbuster drugs, and increasing share of specialty drugs will affect costs, the researchers noted.

The research also revealed employer costs went up by 3.7% in 2022, while employee premiums rose by 0.6%. It’s not uncommon for 1% of membership to make up 40% of the employer’s spending in a given year. Identifying and predicting the costs associated with chronic and complex conditions can help employers find solutions to spending, Aon advised.

"The effect of chronic conditions has far-reaching implications beyond what we see with health care costs, out to the other areas of the business, like absence and productivity, disability and worker's compensation," said Farheen Dam, Aon's North America health solutions leader. "By focusing on chronic conditions, not only are we improving the health and happiness of employees, but we're helping to improve the way they live and work."

Editor’s note: To read Healthleaders’ coverage of this story, click here. To access Aon’s report of the study, click here.

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