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HealthMine survey underscores health care plan challenges

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75 percent of U.S. employees believe their health plan has never alerted them to a health risk, according to the HealthMine 2018 Rising Risk Survey that underscores the challenges health care plans face when educating members about potential health risks and when motivating them to take action to prevent becoming ill.

Bryce Williams, President and CEO of HealthMine, pointed out that 86 percent of the US$2.7 trillion annual health care costs in the US are for people with chronic conditions, and that about 20 percent of any defined population are, ‘at any moment in time […] likely to have multiple risk factors that can push them into the high-cost category if the risks are not addressed’.

He goes on to say that ‘while people can’t change all the attributes that determine a health risk – age, family, history, or genetics, there are many things they can change’, and went on to give examples of diet, physical activity, sleep, and avoiding alcohol and tobacco.

Despite the challenges, Williams added that health plans can play a key role in improving members’ outcomes while lowering costs by helping plan members understand health risks and the actions they must undertake to prevent illness.

The survey queried 500 full-time U.S. employees between the ages of 26 and 64, who are enrolled in a healthcare plan sponsored by their employers. The survey was fielded by Research Now SSI (formerly Survey Sampling International) in December 2017 and January 2018. Data was collected via an opt-in panel, with a 4 percent margin of error.

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