At the same time, we're seeing advances in medicine and virtual care, greater availability and trust in behavioral health services, and a greater focus on health equity, all of which have important implications for the United States workforce. These are the trends that emerged during the pandemic; keep them in mind when preparing your company and employees for the future. Then, as the pandemic worsened and people faced changes in their work, family, and community, they lost their usual support systems. It's more practical, more private and allows access to many people who didn't know where to go in the past.
Just as preventive care is important for our physical health, proactive measures are important for our mental health and well-being. With that in mind, Cigna has started offering care coverage by behavioral health counselors. By working with a coach, people can address their emotional health issues as they arise, rather than waiting for them to need more serious interventions. What does this mean for U.S.
employers? Today, more than ever, employers have a role to play in supporting the mental health of their employees. In fact, recent research by Cigna found that millennials and Generation Z (the majority of the U.S. workforce) believe that having a healthy mind and body are key to their productivity at work. It's imperative that investments in workforce health include mental health services and support to help address employee fatigue, exhaustion, and stress.
That means more than providing benefits. Employers must also work proactively to promote and encourage the well-being of their employees, since when employees believe that their employer cares about their overall health and well-being (mental and physical health), they participate 38% more in their work, according to a study by The Society for Human Resource Management. By eliminating health disparities and allowing everyone to get the care they need, without unnecessary obstacles, we can help everyone achieve optimal health. These disparities, called social determinants of health, are systemic and can include race, gender, sexual orientation, income and geographical location.
For example, rural communities and areas with high poverty rates may have few or no hospitals and medical professionals. The graphic above shows that social and economic factors, such as education, income and discrimination, can affect health and well-being. The consequences of health inequity can be severe. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who don't have access to quality care are more likely to get sick or disabled and die at a younger age than people who don't have difficulty getting the care they need, when they need it.
Employers also have a role to play in this regard. Census, about 55% of the U.S. UU. The population receives health benefits through employers.
This makes employers responsible for promoting equity in the workforce, Dr. Yele Aluko, chief medical officer of EY Americas and director of the EY Center for Health Equity, said in another interview with the Cigna Newsroom team. Kimberly Funderburk, national vice president of Cigna and general director of government education for 26%, recently spoke about employers' imperatives around health equity and the ways in which health disparities negatively affect our workforce during a Cigna roundtable. Read on to learn about the ways employers can begin to address SDoH through benefits and wellness strategies, as well as Cigna's approach to addressing SDoH as a health services company and employer.
The costs of specialty drugs continue to be a concern for employers. These important and essential treatments can be costly and have an impact on a company's bottom line. On the other hand, the price of generic versions of traditional drugs fell by 42.3% over the same five-year period, allowing patients who can use these therapies to access affordable treatments. Genetic and cell therapies that have been approved to date by the U.S.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) treats conditions that affect relatively few Americans. However, more than 600 genetic and cellular therapies are being developed, many of them aimed at treating more common conditions, such as prostate cancer. By 2025, the FDA estimates that it will approve 10 to 20 genetic and cell therapies each year. The key takeaway for employers is the importance of selecting a pharmacy plan that offers cost-saving options that include generic alternatives, home delivery and innovative solutions for the management of specialty medications.
Genetic therapies have the potential to change lives, but they can be difficult to understand for employers trying to make proactive and informed decisions about their coverage strategies. See our guide to better understand gene and cell therapies. Before the pandemic, less than 2% of outpatient medical and behavioral health requests related to virtual consultations. Today they represent almost 25%.
One possible obstacle is the expiration of state laws that allow virtual visits without any visual component performed over the phone. As NPR recently noted, government entities acted quickly at the beginning of the pandemic to expand telehealth, allowing audio-only visits, for example. However, only about half of the U.S. States have taken steps to continue audio-only visits once the federal public health emergency ends.
Telehealth that uses videos or is carried out with phones with cameras will continue to be allowed in those states. Just as the use of virtual care is evolving, so are the tools and resources used by healthcare providers. Nowadays, hypertension and diabetes can be controlled remotely. In the near future, patients can simply look into the camera to have their temperature taken.
For employers, telehealth has the potential to reduce health care costs while keeping employees healthy and productive. Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC) or their affiliates (see a list of legal entities that insure or manage group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Group Universal Life (GUL) insurance plans are insured by CGLIC.
Life (except GUL), accident, serious illness, hospital compensation and disability plans are insured or administered by Life Insurance Company of North America, except in New York, where the insured plans are offered by Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York (New York, NY). All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs, and full coverage details, contact an authorized agent or Cigna sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.
This century has seen an increasingly interconnected market in the United States and around the world. Supply chains, research and development and knowledge about care delivery, together with the instant exchange of information, are now global. Internet access, together with long-standing global travel for educational or leisure reasons, has inexorably altered the geographical limitations of medical care and the health of the population. The Health, United States program provides national trends in health statistics.
Explore the latest analysis on the online thematic pages and in the Annual Outlook. This trend coincides with the holistic cost-of-care trend now being promoted by self-insured health plans and their administrative service organizations, which focus reimbursement on the total cost of care, value propositions and collaborations between clinical sector stakeholders. .