Approximately 177 million Americans receive healthcare coverage from their employers, and in 2015, U.S. employers collectively spent USD 668 billion on health benefits, outpacing federal spending on Medicare.
With that in mind, and as U.S. lawmakers consider the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Marsh & McLennan offers four pragmatic recommendations just published in a new paper, “Health Reform and American Businesses: Critical Partner for Success.” The piece serves as a forceful reminder of how crucial it is for the collective voice of employers to be heard during healthcare reform discussions, results of which will have far-reaching implications for the healthcare system, American lives and the U.S. business community.
Bringing together expertise from Mercer and Oliver Wyman, this groundbreaking policy perspective recommends how to take action to preserve and expand employer-sponsored health coverage and enact policies that promote efficiency and quality within the U.S. healthcare system. It contains specific recommendations for policymakers from the perspective of employers - who are pivotal players in the healthcare system:
1. Avoid policies that merely shift costs to private payers and adopt policies that address the underlying causes of healthcare cost growth.
2. Maintain the favorable tax treatment of employer-sponsored benefits.
3. Update Health Savings Accounts (HSA) rules to make them more flexible.
4. Create a “President’s Healthcare Leadership Council” to drive transformative change and boost transparency.
These four recommendations are starting points for healthcare reform that can help employees stay healthy and productive, enable innovation, and lower costs so that employers can focus on growth to create new jobs for the American public.