For years we’ve been hearing the same beleaguered declaration: The cost of healthcare is going up. It’s an understatement that doesn’t come close to reflecting the magnitude of how much costs are climbing. Experts report costs have increased 274 times since 1950. No other sector of U.S. goods or services has experienced such an unbridled uptick. Today, healthcare costs are growing at a much faster rate than inflation, the economy and wages.
In a world of hard choices, medical costs are a source of stress and worry for nearly everyone. It has left government officials, insurance providers, corporate executives, small business leaders, consumers and the medical community scrambling to find solutions. Sadly, there doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet to cure what ails us, and employers have been left to shoulder enormous responsibility—and financial costs.
Trying to provide employees with the health insurance benefits they have come to expect and rely upon, while complying with all the requirements of the Affordable Care Act is no simple feat. With combined healthcare spending totaling $2.5 trillion—a little more than 17 percent of our nation’s gross domestic product—it’s not surprising that many companies have implemented employee wellness programs in an effort to contain costs.