U.S. employers spend about $880 billion on health care benefits for employees and their dependents, but poor health among workers costs them another $530 billion — or about 60 cents for every dollar spent, according to a report released this week by the Integrated Benefits institute, which describes itself as a nonprofit health and productivity research organization. That additional cost stems from illness-related absences, disability leaves, impaired job performance and occupational injuries and illnesses, the Institute says.
IBI said its estimates are based on 2017 data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as well as its own benchmarking data from 66,000 U.S. employers.
“To put this in further context, the cost of poor health to employers is greater than the combined revenues of Apple, Amazon, Microsoft, Netflix, EBAY and Adobe,” IBI President Thomas Parry said in a statement. “There’s not a CEO or CFO that can placidly accept their business expending the equivalent of almost two-thirds of their health care dollars on lost productivity. Illness costs this country hundreds of billions of dollars and we can no longer afford to ignore the health of our workforce.”