Resource provided by: Angelo Todaro, Client Executive, OneDigital

Health insurance prices are growing faster than inflation, profits, and wages, causing significant hardship for employers and individual plan members. It stands apart from any other purchase an employer makes. Health insurance impacts every individual, often ranks as the second-largest expense after payroll, poses challenges for budgeting, and even when the medical plan runs smoothly, it can turn sideways quickly.

Controlling health care expenses is a top challenge for employers. Understanding and improving risk is complex, but it is an imperative cost containment strategy. Because every employer faces different risks, there is no black-and-white answer. Small businesses especially have a difficult time due to the lack of claims data, making it challenging to know what the renewal will be.

Here are a few things to consider when thinking about risk:

  • Changes in employee participation in the medical plan can affect your risk profile. While employee turnover is a natural part of business, it’s essential to recognize its impact on risk.
  • What is the overall satisfaction of your workforce? Organizations that embrace an active role in their employees’ well-being often see improved performance, productivity, and lower healthcare costs.
  • What stressors are employees facing in their personal life? Is someone grieving the loss of a loved one making it difficult for them to get through the working day?
  • Are employees on their feet all day and possibly suffering from chronic conditions?
  • An annual physical is only a baseline for providing employees with an overall picture of their health. However, it may not detect certain health conditions, such as autoimmune disorders. Employees could be suffering from an underlying health issue.


  • Demographics: Understanding your workforce is the first step to understanding your risk. Based on generation, what are employees most concerned about? What stressors does each generation face? What are their preferences when it comes to communication and care?
  • Education: It’s imperative to educate employees on their health plans and how to best utilize services. This empowers plan participants to make informed decisions on their health care and helps avoid unnecessary expenses.
  • Transparency: C-level leadership should let employees know the medical plan’s cost, emphasizing managing cost is a collective effort.
  • Work with brokers year-round to proactively manage claims, keep up-to-date with legislation, ensure compliance, assess employee understanding and usage of the plan, and more.

By understanding the intricacies of health insurance risks, employers can make more informed decisions about their spending, resulting in improved outcomes for both their people and their bottom line.