Twenty of America’s largest companies—including American Express, Coca-Cola, and Verizon—have formed the Health Transformation Alliance (HTA) to address the problem of spiraling healthcare costs for their employees.
Together, the 20 companies are responsible for healthcare benefits for four million people and spend more than $14 billion annually on healthcare for employees, their dependents and retirees.
The HTA will be built and organized throughout 2016, and beginning as soon as 2017, a pilot project to help employees obtain more affordable prescription medications will be launched. The rest of the major initiatives are planned to begin in 2018 or later.
The Alliance will focus on reforms to the supply chain that are designed to reduce redundancies and waste, all of which drive up the cost of health care coverage. The companies aim to share expertise to make the current multilayered supply chain more efficient.
The U.S. government defines healthcare as “affordable” if it costs 9.5% or less of a household’s income, according to a study by the American Health Policy Institute, which developed the concept of the Alliance.
According to the Institute, by 2020 more than 37% of private sector employees who are heads of families will face an average family premium and deductible above affordable levels. In less than 10 years, 53% of employees are projected to face unaffordable healthcare costs, creating a significant problem for employees and employers.
“The goal is to provide a better way for employers to provide healthcare to their employees,” Tevi Troy, CEO of the American Health Policy Institute, tells Managed Healthcare Executive.
“The current system is unsustainable and it costs our employees too much,” Kevin Cox, the chief human resources officer of American Express, said in a release. “Even the most successful companies won’t be able to afford the rising costs of healthcare in the not too distant future.”
According to Troy, approximately 170 million Americans receive their health coverage from employer-sponsored care, “but spiraling cost hikes have hit them with increasing premiums, deductibles, and copays. The HTA is an effort to deal with cost hikes, and help make healthcare more affordable to those in employer-sponsored plans.”
“The HTA is interested in good ideas from experts across the supply chain in how to make things better in healthcare,” says Troy. “The members of the HTA are employers, but the HTA is willing to partner with elements of the supply chain in working to fulfill its mission of improving healthcare for their employees.”