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One thing hasn’t changed: Employers continue to have significant concerns about the affordability of employer-provided health coverage for employees and their families.

Most employers had anticipated a stabilized environment in which workers returned to the office this fall. The recent surge in the COVID-19 Delta variant, however, has changed their outlook.

“The Delta variant has changed the game on employer efforts to return to normal and created even more uncertainty about the safety and sustainability of their COVID-19 strategies,” said Michael Thompson, president and CEO of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions, which recently surveyed employers. “Based on the survey responses, almost all have taken actions to educate, encourage and support vaccination, but there is now a strong trend to differentiate the treatment of the vaccinated from the unvaccinated.

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