BURLINGTON, Mass., U.S. – (BUSINESS WIRE) – DirectPath, the company that helps employees make better health care decisions, today announced a new study, The 2021 Benefits Broker: Year Round Strategies to Keep Employer Costs Low During a Pandemic. The report, which includes results from an annual survey of more than 100 health insurance brokers, underscores the important role price transparency services have played in containing benefit costs for employers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Specifically, the survey shows that 83 percent of brokers currently offer some form of healthcare transparency and clinical advocacy services to help employers reduce costs, and 23 percent of respondents say they are introducing new advocacy and transparency products and services will add to this growing demand.
How Brokers Help Navigate COVID-19
When the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted much of everyday life around the world, more than 4 in 10 Americans said they delayed or avoided medical care because of coronavirus-related concerns. Now that the world is starting to open up again, it is more important than ever that employees buy care to ensure they are getting the best possible price for the services they need – especially given the savings that can run in the thousands. Looking back at 2020, DirectPath saw an average saving of $ 19,498 on an endoprosthesis, while employees comparing the cost of an MRI saved an average of $ 2,447 and $ 2,732 on a colonoscopy. By providing access to knowledgeable and experienced lawyers, brokers provide employees with a single source to make informed decisions about their health care, get answers to COVID-19-related questions, compare costs, find network providers, and address claims issues to solve.
With 67 percent of respondents in a recent healthcare literacy survey saying they didn’t realize they could compare treatment or service costs before receiving care, it is critical that brokers deliver these advocacy and transparency services through the provision strengthen communication services with holistic advantages. According to the DirectPath 2021 Broker Report, 95 percent of brokers are impacted by demand for welfare communication services, and 70 percent of brokers say their customers rely on them more than usual for welfare communication materials. Crucial to this trend was the increased demand for communication, which is causing employees to act – whether that means actively enrolling for their services or reading about a new regulation affecting their reporting – rather than just providing educational content .
How brokers respond to changing employer needs
In addition to curbing healthcare costs, brokers said they focus on providing great customer service and relationships (79 percent), recruiting and retaining the best people (55 percent), and adding new, innovative services to to satisfy market demand (44) percent). With 71 percent of brokers reporting that customers struggle with employee satisfaction and the perceived value of their retirement plans, these services are critical to ensuring that brokers continually provide services and products to employers that meet changing needs and expectations suit their employees appropriately. Brokers should focus on developing strategies that will help employers improve the year-round employee benefits experience and create more informed healthcare consumers.
For more information on which brokerage services are most effective for employees, see The 2021 Benefits Broker: Year Round Strategies to Keep Employer Costs Down During a Pandemic.
DirectPath surveyed more than 100 health insurance brokers about what services they currently offer, which services offer the greatest business value, and how their models are expected to evolve to help them compete in the coming year. These brokers work for a mix of small and large clients – 55 percent reported having around 25 clients with more than 500 employees, while 31 percent reported having a hundred or more clients with more than 500 employees.
DirectPath helps employees make better health care decisions, offering personalized training on choosing the right benefit plan, expert assistance in choosing sound care, and rewards for making sound financial decisions. Customers achieve significant ROI on their service investments through increased employee involvement, management of the evolving regulatory environment, and lower costs through visibility into healthcare costs. DirectPath has offices across the country. Visit the DirectPath website for more information. Follow the company on Twitter.