Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

April 18, 2022

4 big health benefits trends to watch in 2022

Since the start of the pandemic, the health care industry has been continuously challenged to evolve. Even the very definitions of consumer health and wellness have been reconstructed, raising the bar for both the industry and employers.

As we move deeper into 2022, here are some of the top health care trends experts predict will continue to shape the industry and health benefits this year:


1. Honing in on health care cost savings and affordability.

In the U.S., the rising cost of care and access to prescription medication have become a real problem for many consumers – in fact, one in five adults can’t afford quality care. While legislative policy changes such as the No Surprises Act aim to improve cost transparency and prevent financial strain, employers can help make a difference too. By working with their health insurance carrier to improve employee health literacy through education, plan decision support, and awareness of health savings tools and programs, employers can help their workforce make smarter decisions about their coverage options and alleviate some financial burden.


2. Continued advancement and use of telehealth.

The pandemic has shown the many ways that remote health care and virtual doctor visits can be a convenient and efficient means of receiving care. However, there are still gaps to address – a new study revealed that among telehealth users, 69% earned at least $100,000, 62% were white and 66% had private insurance. For those with access, the enhancement of wearables and other monitoring tools have now made it possible to treat chronic illnesses remotely.

Experts predict that in the coming year, we can expect to see providers from different health care specialties increase application and investments in smart technology, from virtual reality to machine learning, to treat diverse health needs remotely. Employers can look to their health partner to help ensure they’re offering the best virtual care options to keep up with this shift.


3. Focus on improved mental well-being through holistic support.

Amid the Great Resignation and burnout from two years of the pandemic, mental well-being will continue to be prioritized by employers in 2022. According to the American Psychiatric Association, employees in the U.S. with unresolved major depressive disorder represent a loss of $210.5 billion a year in absenteeism, reduced productivity, and medical costs.

With the continuing emphasis on mental health, holistic benefits and programs that support emotional, physical and even financial health for employees are in demand. According to research, employees who do utilize such programs report improved mental and physical health, and even sleep. And, 80% of employees who had received treatment for behavioral health conditions report improved levels of work efficacy and satisfaction.


4. Prioritizing health equity as the industry moves forward.

Within all the health care trends this year, keeping vulnerable and at-risk populations top of mind will be a primary focus. Especially as technology continues to evolve, using it to find ways to improve health care access and delivery for all will be just as important as advancing the technology itself. Also, parts of the health care system are beginning to take more proactive roles in addressing social determinants of health that could potentially cause inequities in the system.

Fairness and equity will also emerge in the workplace with personalized benefits. For example, some companies have already started to offer targeted benefits for specific segments of their workforce, such as providing additional childcare support for employees who are unable to take advantage of flexible work options.

These emerging trends will shape both the health care industry and health benefits in the year ahead. By taking note, employers and brokers alike can be prepared to support their workforce.


Learn more about how Point32Health companies Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and Tufts Health Plan can help make sure these health benefits are a part of your company’s coverage.