Cancer is the number one cost for employers who offer healthcare to their employees. The brunt of the cost comes from late-stage diagnoses, which are both dangerous and often preventable.
As health insurance rates are set to rise 6.5% or more in 2024 (according to a survey by Willis Tower Watson), cutting costs around cancer is critical for employers looking to stay competitive amidst a tough labor market. For many, passing the buck of higher insurance rates onto their employees is not an ideal option. Instead, employers are looking for other ways to navigate the rising tides while maintaining the costs paid by their employees.
The simplest answer is to turn undivided attention to cancer prevention. For employers who don’t yet have a cancer prevention program, this might mean instituting a tiered screening program to help ensure their population is up-to-date with recommended screenings. For employers who have been working to address cancer prevention and detection in their ranks for some time now, that might mean making screenings more accessible and inclusive. Doing so might mean improving care advocacy and ensuring people have the necessary logistical support to get through the screening process. It could mean incorporating genetic testing into their cancer prevention strategy as a means of helping employees—of all ages—identify their inherited risk for cancer.
The increase in health insurance rates may be the biggest the country has seen since 2012. All the while, incidence of cancer in people under 50 are on the rise, and screening rates are showing only minimal improvement. Now is the time to reverse course and tackle the cost of late-stage cancer head-on.