The Cost of Care: Health Trends Impacting the Workforce with BCBSND

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1 min read

What We’re Hearing: Well-Being in the Workforce

Understanding medical cost trends can help employees stay healthy and businesses keep a happier bottom line. The rise of chronic conditions, specialty pharmaceuticals, and mental health challenges have had a major impact on the cost of care and, subsequently, the workforce at large. By better understanding what is driving the cost of care, Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Dakota is working to help employers offer benefits that prevent long-term illness and long-term costs.

Well-being is a top priority for many of our customers in 2024, as it is a major key in keeping their workforce running smoothly. When employees take care of their health and well-being, they tend to take fewer sick days, are more engaged during working hours, and produce higher-quality work. Employers who support their teams’ well-being are also ahead of the curve in attracting and retaining top-quality employees. Finally, a happier and healthier workforce keeps long-term healthcare costs low.

In the United States, healthcare tends to focus on intervention rather than prevention. By moving the trend to prevention and accessing care at the right time in the right place, we can reduce costly treatments, services, and visits to the emergency room or admissions to the hospital. We see the major impact prevention can have on employers and their teams. The top strategy employers can take in 2024 is to understand medical cost trends that impact their workforce and promote the benefits they offer their employees to combat these trends.

Trends Impacting The Workforce

  • Chronic Condition Management
    • 51.8% of U.S. adults have a chronic condition.
  • Behavioral Health, Substance Use
    • 26% of North Dakotans reported having behavioral health symptoms in the past year.
  • Speciality Rx
    • 60% of pharmacy spend is on specialty drugs used to treat autoimmune diseases, cancer, multiple sclerosis, and more.

Inspiring Positive Change

Education and prevention are key to mitigating costs and ensuring a happier and healthier workforce. We see the positive impact preventive care, like health screenings, vaccinations, and regular checkups, has on keeping members happier and healthier and keeping costs low. Comprehensive benefits, including mental health services, fitness plans, and wellness resources, educate members on their health and well-being and prevent long-term illness and increased healthcare costs. We believe members can take control of their well-being and stay healthier longer, inspiring positive change in the workforce and beyond.