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Use Experimentation to Design Better Health Care Benefits

U.S. employers face enormous challenges in designing their employee health care benefits that effectively address the myriad problems confronting them, including rising health care costs, employee burnout and obesity. At the same time, health and wellness options abound. By applying a test-and-learn approach, Walmart has succeeded in finding those that are the most effective in achieving multiple goals.

With the cost of health care in the United States continuing to outpace inflation, reducing health care spending is a burning issue for employers — especially large self-funded employers who assume financial risk for their employees’ health care. At the same time, employee well-being is more important than ever. Health risks — ranging from burnout to obesity — are widespread in the workforce, impacting health outcomes, costs, and productivity. Meeting the current and emerging health care needs of today’s dynamic and diverse workforce requires an institutional agility that employers historically lack.

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