Washington, DC – The following statement should be attributed to Annette Guarisco Fildes, president and CEO, The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC):
“ERIC welcomes the Business Group on Health’s 2022 Large Employers’ Health Care Strategy and Plan Design Survey. The survey underscores the impact COVID-19 continues to have on employer-sponsored health benefits and highlights how employers are investing more than ever to ensure that employees and their families have access to the care they need.
Employers are working on expanding access to mental health benefits. A recent report by ERIC, ‘Prioritizing Employee Mental Health: Solutions for Congress,’ examines how our large employer member companies expanded access to those services for their employees and reviewed the challenges employers faced due to outdated laws, rules, and public policies. ERIC came up with real-world solutions that federal lawmakers can put into action right now to address those challenges. Among other ideas, employers propose offering standalone telehealth benefits to all employees and national telehealth licensing reciprocity for medical practitioners in all states. These changes would open up access to providers for millions of employees who may not be eligible for their employer’s health care or may not have enough mental and behavioral health providers where they live. Addressing telehealth access is especially important, as the Business Group’s survey showed that implementing virtual care solutions is the number one new initiative for employers.
The high cost of prescription drugs remains a concern for employers as well. To lower drug costs, many employers are turning to biosimilars. ERIC’s three-part study found that biosimilars offer significant cost savings for both the employer and employee. Employers can implement innovative design practices to increase the uptake of biosimilars. At the same time, federal and state lawmakers have numerous policies to choose from to create a favorable environment for a competitive biologic marketplace, leading to lower-cost options for employers and patients.
Large employers face an uncertain future with rising COVID cases across the country. Employers need to be empowered to expand and innovate their health offerings to address their employees’ and families’ rapidly changing health care needs.”