As CFOs have become more involved in health plan design and cost management, the once-common double-digit annual plan increases have begun to disappear. (Photo: enciktepstudio/

Over the last several years, CFOs have taken an increasingly active role in managing the design and cost of employer-sponsored health coverage. Not only has this led to a diminished role for HR in this key benefit area, but it has expanded the use of outside experts as resources for crafting the plan.

This is among the big-picture takeaways from a survey of 54 organizational financial leaders conducted by Willis Towers Watson (2020 Survey, Health Care Costs). The survey provided more evidence that the C-suite places a higher value than ever on the details of the health plan, and that HR has ceded considerable responsibility during that process.

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