Employers offering health plans that integrate medical, pharmacy and behavioral health coverage can see significant savings, according to a new report from Cigna.
The insurer released its fourth “Value of Integration” analysis on Monday, which found that employers could save nearly $7,400 annual for customers with chronic conditions if they integrated benefit options.
The report is based on data from more than 2.3 million claims in Cigna employer plans.
Health plans that combined these options saved an average of $207 each year per customer across the board, and saved $850 per year for customers who had at least one identifiable opportunity to improve their health, such as smoking cessation or improved diabetes management, according to the report.
For plan members who take pricey specialty medications, integrated benefits saved $7,372 in annual medical costs and for cancer patients, such benefits reduced costs by 24%, or $11,679.
“More than ever, employers are prioritizing whole-person health and offering fully connected benefits, which are key to attracting and retaining talent,” said Matt Totterdale, senior vice president of Cigna Pharmacy, in a statement.
Cigna found that members enrolled in plans with integrated benefits were also more engaged in programs to improve their health and are more likely to be informed about their options. For instance, members in these plans were more likely to visit in-network providers because they were knowledgeable about their plans.
Employees enrolled in triple-integrated plans had 17% higher engagement in wellness programs such as diabetes counseling, lifestyle coaching for weight loss or smoking cessation and individual case management for complex diseases like cancer.
These members also had 18% fewer out-of-network claims for behavioral health services, and 32% lower readmission rates for behavioral health conditions, Cigna’s analysis found.
Taking an integrated approach specifically benefited employees with opioid use disorder, according to the report. Members in these plans had a 15% higher rate of accessing opioid misuse treatment and saw a 30% reduction in overdoses among those who experienced one in the prior year.
“We mobilize across the continuum of care—eliminating gaps in care, getting ahead of the disease and driving interventions with customers and providers that guide their next best actions,” Totterdale said. “This ultimately makes it easier for customers to understand their healthcare choices and helps protect against surprise costs.”