December 2020

5 things to watch in 2021.

As your clients face the ongoing reality of a long pandemic and anticipate changes in a post-pandemic world, they need to think about the latest shifts in health care. Here are topics to consider as you help your clients develop their benefits strategy for 2021 and beyond.

The importance of behavioral health

Due to the challenges of this past year, especially those related to the COVID-19 pandemic, resilience is at risk among today’s employees.

Why this matters: When your clients support their employees’ emotional health, they can help keep productivity up and medical costs down.

The expansion of virtual care

Virtual care is here to stay. The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of a solution that was already improving outcomes and lowering costs. Over the past year, many routine in-person doctor visits have been postponed or cancelled.

Why this matters: It’s important for your clients to partner with a health services company that’s at the forefront of the ever-evolving virtual care landscape. Employees can enjoy virtual visits for routine care without risking exposure to COVID-19. In some instances, they may be able to get treatment that enables them to avoid the emergency room. Virtual visits can easily fit into an employee’s day so they can manage their health without having to take time off from work.

Keeping drug costs under control

With the net cost of drugs rising times faster* than inflation, employers will be looking for ways to control drug costs in the coming year.

Why this matters: Your clients should keep pace with evolving specialty drug management. They should also explore innovative solutions that integrate medical and pharmacy benefits to help employees manage health conditions as well as related drugs costs.

Using data & analytics to improve health

Not surprisingly, patient data continues to play a key role in health care. In fact, 30% of globally stored data is related to health care and life sciences.**

Why this matters: The collection and evaluation of patient data can help identify employees who are at risk for chronic conditions such as diabetes, heart disease and more. Getting ahead of emerging health conditions for employees can help them avoid complications and costly health issues down the road. Your clients can maintain a healthy, productive workforce while keeping costs under control.

Social determinants of health

With today’s diverse workforce, employers should be aware of health disparities based on factors including race, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation or gender identity.

Why this matters: By recognizing the challenges and barriers that employees and their families may face, employers can help individuals avoid fragmented care and the costs associated with it.

The right benefits strategy will put your clients in a position to overcome the challenges of the ongoing pandemic and enable them to thrive in a post-pandemic world.

* U.S. News & World Report, “U.S. Drug Prices Have Risen Three Times Faster Than Inflation,” March 3, 2020.

** Dell Technologies, “Edge and IoT solutons, A new vision for Healthcare and Life Solutions.