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Employers today find themselves at the center of a seemingly unwinnable struggle. Health care costs are rising; employer-sponsored health insurance is a $900 billion per year market. Starbucks, for instance, spends more on health care than coffee beans, and GM spends more on health care than on steel. But they are willing to make the investment because they know that a healthy, happy workforce is as valuable as any part of their supply chain — on par with, if not more valuable, than coffee beans and steel. 

While it is a huge business expense, health care is incredibly difficult for employers to manage. Benefits cost varies widely by employer — even within the same industry. Benefits administrators are told to deliver the best benefits for the best value, but are left to navigate a complex and changing system with little idea of what works for whom, when, and why. 

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