U.S. employers are projected to pay 6.5% more on average for employee health care coverage in 2023, a new report suggests, as worries of inflation materialize.

Not only are health care costs outpacing wage increases, but they are also poised to increase even more over the next few years, though the extent is still unclear. But while inflation is a central concern, there’s an even bigger driver at play behind the rising health care cost trend, which we aren’t talking about with the same urgency: chronic disease.

According to the CDC, 90% of the nation’s $4.1 trillion in annual health care costs are for patients with chronic conditions. The time is now to get a handle on curbing and managing chronic disease, by empowering high-risk individuals to stave off chronic conditions like hypertension and diabetes.

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