Anthem: Employers embracing bundled health, wellness benefits

A new study reveals that bundled health and wellness benefits can result in better care, lower costs and more satisfied employees.

The Anthem biennial Integrated Health Care report revealed that more than 71% of the 222 employers surveyed are considering or already actively integrating wellness services, an 11% increase from 2016. 

The idea is that an umbrella program of services, including medical, pharmacy, dental, vision and disability benefits, will positively impact employee outcomes, the respondents said. 

“At Anthem, we are championing the power that claims data and analytics can have when leveraged through integrated healthcare and I’m encouraged that more and more employers are adopting this approach,” Nick Brecker, president of Anthem’s Specialty Business, stated in an announcement. “By addressing ‘whole person health’ we can identify and communicate opportunities to positively impact employees’ health, provide them with a simplified experience and lower their health care costs.”

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For example, the study reported that 25 of the top 25 utilized drugs have vision and/or dental side effects. Therefore, it’s important that providers are notified of the medications their patients are taking in order to provide proper treatment, the report said. 

And 88% of surveyed employers agreed that integrated healthcare benefit programs make employees happier in several ways.

In addition, 90% stated that integrated benefits make a compensation package more attractive, and 86% agreed that it reduces employee turnover. Plus, there is the ethical argument, where many organizations agree it is “the right thing to do,” according to the survey.

However, the Anthem research also showed that when these services are siloed, it can leave employees and providers with a disconnected view of health.