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Drive your Plan with Data 2019

Top Trends & Takeaways

Posted by Derek Weir on July 02, 2019

Introduction: Derek Weir, Manager, Health Benefit Solutions at Medavie Blue Cross, offers an in-depth look at the latest trends, digging deep into our data to turn the numbers into valuable insights you can use to inform your benefit decisions. In this blog, Derek shares the key findings of his research and analysis, and then breaks it down in more detail.

Top 3 Trends: Making Sense of the Data

  • Speciality drugs (defined as those costing $10,000 annually or higher) continue to grow in size relative to overall drug spending, accounting for 31% of the per capita drug cost in 2018.
  • Claims continue to rise for treatment of mental health disorders and chronic diseases, with mental health practitioners now the fastest growing Top 10 EHC benefit.
  • The use of paramedical practitioner benefits continues to surge, particularly massage therapy, with 15% of covered employees*now claiming for this benefit at an annual cost of over $100 per covered employee.

Top 3 Takeaways: Applying the Data

1. Take a fresh look at your benefits plans: Advisors can play a role in providing insights to employers to ensure their plan spends are optimal.

2. Ask if your plan spend is optimized relative to your plan objectives: Is the money you are spending accomplishing your plan objectives or are you leaving money on the table?

3. Ask if there are potential savings that can be reinvested in benefits that align with your plan objectives: Are there ways to save money and put it towards benefits that employees want and need, e.g. increasing your psychology benefit? Are there plan changes that can be made on the drug side to contain costs while still ensuring employees have access to the right treatments for them?