The Conference Board’s Annual Employee Health Care Conference: Health Navigation Gains Traction, Begins to Demonstrate Results

We’re in the midst of a sea change in employee health benefits. Although companies have long offered health benefits programs that address workers’ specific health needs, employees have been mostly left on their own to find and use the health tools or care options that work for them. As a result, too often these programs fail to reach their full potential to lower costs and improve health.

Employers are increasingly recognizing that to really drive value from the benefits they offer, they need to do more to help their employees find and understand the right benefit at the right time. According to benefits consultant Willis Towers Watson’s annual survey of some of the nation’s largest employers, most employers are actively working to improve the health benefits experience for employees, and 85 percent of employers report they are considering offering tools to support employee navigation of health care services.  

At Willis Towers Watson’s and Conference Board’s Annual Employee Health Care Conference, the annual gathering of health benefits leaders from major employers and innovative benefits providers, the conversation heated up on this topic. We heard from presentation after presentation on the challenges employers are facing in driving engagement and satisfaction, and the realization that a one-size-fits-all approach to benefits simply does not work.

Health navigation promises to address these challenges by providing personalized, seamless support across the employee health journey: improving the employee experience while reducing medical costs. However, while the term health navigation was frequently used at the conference to describe a coalescing vision, there was wide variance in how far along employers are, and how much success they are having.

Castlight was honored to present at the conference with ArcBest, a leading logistics provider and one of the organizations that has made the most progress towards realizing this vision that we have seen. Over the past decade, ArcBest, an Arkansas-based employer of over 13,000 people, has been able to dramatically reduce per member costs by taking an active role in managing the employee health journey, including active care coordination and placing a strong emphasis on developing a culture of wellbeing. ArcBest shared tangible results about how the Castlight Complete platform supports their strategy, by creating one central hub for benefits and wellbeing, providing personalized care guidance, and giving members a seamless picture of their healthcare information.

We’re excited to hear more and more employers discussing navigation, and–as the results come in–we look forward to sharing additional stories of innovative employers adopting Castlight Complete to improve their employees’ improved health journey and benefits experience.