Skip to main content

As the situation in Ukraine evolves, businesses should be mindful of potential risks to their people, assets, operations, or supply chains in the region and globally. Marsh, as part of the Marsh McLennan family of companies, has created a page with information, tools, and resources related to the Russia-Ukraine conflict. Please visit the page for the latest information.

March 21, 2023

2022 employer-sponsored health care: a year in review

Garrett Gomez, FSA, MAAA

Since the beginning of the pandemic, employer-sponsored health plan stakeholders have been through a lot. They’ve had to navigate unprecedented fee-for-service medical and pharmacy claims—all while having to constantly adapt to an ever-changing risk landscape.

In 2020, claims trends were historically low. Non-emergency medical utilization decreases outweighed COVID-19 testing and treatment utilization increases. Health care claims did rebound in 2021 and 2022, but to levels still less than pre-pandemic trend expectations.

Looking ahead, employers continue to face an evolving host of challenges. These also come amidst shifting workforce expectations, mental and behavioral health needs, and changes in health care economics. To face these challenges, employers should remain focused on creating positive outcomes for plan members. Building sustainable strategies to improve both the patient care experience and overall workforce health, as well as reducing the per capita cost of health care, should be a top priority. 

Fee-for-service medical and pharmacy actual vs. expected allowed claims since the beginning of the pandemic

MMA analyzed its national book of business health plan utilization with data through December 31, 2022. Below is a chart illustrating MMA’s national fee-for-service medical and Rx actual claims compared to expected claims assuming 6.0% annual claims trend:

Optional caption here

Strategic focus areas for 2023 and beyond

Employers managing fully insured, level-funded, and self-funded health plans will likely face continued volatility and uncertainty. As stakeholders assess future priorities, focusing on certain action items can help maximize health plan value, improve employee health and wellbeing, and mitigate risk. These include:

- Reviewing historical and emerging claims experience to analyze plan performance.  

- Evaluating detailed renewal underwriting and forecasting analysis to ensure competitive premium rating.

- Building a comprehensive total rewards strategy, addressing realities of 2023, and including focus areas such as shifting workforce expectations, mental and behavioral health needs, and changes in healthcare economics.

Reach out to a consultant for a more in-depth look at health care cost and utilization data from the pandemic and to discuss how it can inform your employee health and benefits strategy.