Moving Benefits Forward – August 26, 2021 Results

Businesswoman analyzing data graphs on a tablet

Attendees at our ‘Moving Benefits Forward’ BBC lunchtime session participated in one of four breakout rooms focused on key issues and trends in the benefits space. It was a lot of planning and ‘dry runs’ to host four concurrent breakouts, but it was worth it! Almost all attendees who responded to our evaluation told us they would like more interactive sessions.

We started the session with a short presentation of the highlights from our 2020-21 BBC season from Denise Balch. Experts involved in mental health joined us to share their insights, we reviewed trends in chronic disease as well as overall drug trends, examined existing tools and services for chronic disease management, and explored issues around access to specialty and other medications, plan design modernization and health programs innovation.

Breakout group moderators led discussions on the key challenges and opportunities within their area of expertise. The four breakout groups were based on COVID-19 and mental health, tools for chronic disease management, access to medication, and connecting plan design to health outcomes. Here were the main themes:

  1. The need for better data and analytics, which was a strong theme across all four groups.
  2. Targeting those in need of mental health and chronic disease management resources, which continue to be very challenging for plan sponsors. They are looking to insurers to leverage analytics and other digital tools, to target individuals with chronic diseases and promoting wellbeing programs to plan members based on their individual needs.
  3. More innovative tools to address catastrophic drug costs particularly for smaller plan sponsors, better pooling solutions and the potential for a public solution.
  4. Improvements in plan data from insurers for all plan sponsors to allow them to make informed decisions about plan changes and to develop strategies to optimize the wellbeing of their employees, to improve presenteeism and engagement.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this session. Until we can meet in person, we are looking for ways to connect you to colleagues and industry stakeholders. Since COVID-19 we have added podcasts in between BBC meetings, added polling during BBC meetings and now we have held our first virtual break out session. We will plan more of these so that you can interact with each other.

Thank you to attendees, presenters, sponsors and our advisory board members for joining with us as we continue to pursue excellence in employee benefits education.