Double Jeopardy In Health— It’s Time For Employers To Care

When Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JP Morgan first announced plans to create a joint health care venture, many assumed they were teaming up to lower health care costs. This makes sense. Employers have always been a significant payer in the US system, with health insurance expenses accounting for 8 percent of private industry compensation. But medical spending is only part of the cost. Poor health is also a driver of short-term disability, workers’ compensation costs, and sick leave. The attendant loss of productivity is significant—conservatively estimated at $260 billion annually.

Employers are increasingly acting on the idea that health can affect their bottom line. For example, Apple has announced that it plans to launch primary care clinics through its AC Wellness Network. The aim of these clinics is to reduce health costs through preventive care, like wellness visits, rather than treating them once they become sick.

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