Stethoscope on dollar sign Value-based insurance designs not only lower the out-of-pocket costs of essential visits and services but have been shown to improve health outcomes and enhance equity. (Image: Shutterstock)

Health care spending continues to rise, and with about half of the U.S. population covered by employer-sponsored insurance, employers continue to foot the majority of the bill. While insurers have spent the better half of the past two decades reforming the ways in which we pay for care, the transformation of the health care delivery system continues to depend on employers leveraging benefit design to encourage high-value care.

Employers, left with little control over payment, have opted to focus their efforts on mitigating spending by developing narrow and tiered networks, and by customizing deductibles, copays, and co-insurance rates. These have nevertheless resulted in passing costs onto employees without making marked differences in outcomes.

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