Employer & Broker Health Plan Trends Survey Results

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It's time for a health plan innovation conversation

In late 2022, Centivo surveyed almost 400 employers and brokers to better understand health plan priorities and perceptions. Nearly everyone in both groups surveyed – 94% of employers and 91% of brokers – agreed the health plan industry needs an overhaul.


With such a consensus, why do healthcare costs keep rising? Where’s the push for change when only one in three employers, and one in four brokers, "completely agree" employees have access to the healthcare they needAccording to our findings, the key to turning the tide might be good old-fashioned communication.  

Employers are ready to innovate

Despite the unrelenting trajectory of rising healthcare costs, most employers are no longer leaning on the unaffordable employee cost-shifting strategies of the past, such as raising deductibles or copays, as Mercer recently reported*. To get out in front of these increases, employers are open to new, more sustainable solutions.

Our survey found a majority of employers are open to innovative health plan approaches: One in three employers (34%) say they’re typically first to adopt new ideas, while another 39% call themselves “early adopters” (not leading the pack, but willing to implement after seeing initial results).

So, what’s the hold up? Our survey tells us employers may not be hearing all the tradition-busting options available, mainly because brokers aren’t convinced they’ll want to hear them. When we polled brokers about how open their clients are to new ideas, they were more likely to place employers in the early-to-late adopter category, with 87% agreeing they wished their clients were more open to innovative ideas.

While we found more of a disconnect than a disagreement, the stats tell us employers are hungry for more than brokers are bringing to their table.


Different paths toward a common goal

Changing the healthcare status quo isn't easy, but the time is ripe for an overhaul. Brokers want to to help their employers innovate, employers are ready to hear options and the goal is clear – building a better health plan. So what comes next? Our survey reveals different priorities for each group when considering health plan changes. While all of these are critical, it shows where employers may be missing information or where brokers can offer new solutions. Specifically:

Chronic Care@4x

Employers are putting employee well-being and access first


Our survey found that when it comes to their company-sponsored health plans, employers place the greatest importance on employee-focused factors, namely improving the health and well-being of employees (71%) and making it easy for employees to engage with their plans (68%). 








Predictable copays copy@4x

Brokers deem cost and quality to be of paramount importance


The brokers we surveyed have slightly different priorities for evaluating clients’ health plans, with reducing costs for the organization (67%) and offering quality network/providers (52%) at the top of their list. 









Curated for Quality@4x

Areas of agreement


  • Overwhelmingly, employers (95%) and brokers (94%) believe primary care plays a critical role in improved health and cost control (although employers are slightly more adamant about this than brokers may realize). 
  • Behavioral health benefits and pharmacy costs rank highest on the trends radar for both employers and brokers.
  • While reducing organization costs didn’t top our employer survey responses, 94% say managing benefit costs will be a top priority over the next two years and that they plan to boost efforts to make healthcare more affordable for employees.

Start the innovation conversation

Our results tell us that change is on people's minds -- and that it could be more attainable if employers and brokers communicate and understand their openness and priorities around risk-taking and innovation. To start moving the needs, it's time to start the conversation.

Ready to dig deeper?

If you want to see all the data behind these survey findings, download the full results report by submitting the form.
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