Healthier employees lead to a healthier bottom line for employers. However, navigating the complexities of healthcare can be a daunting task, especially for employees who may not have a deep understanding of their benefits or how to access the right care at the right time.

In an episode of the "Healthcare on the Rocks" podcast, David Pittman and Jennifer Jones sat down with Justin Holland, CEO and Co-founder of HealthJoy, to discuss how his company is simplifying the healthcare experience for employees and driving cost savings for employers.

Below, you’ll find highlights and takeaways from their conversation. 

Ready to listen to the full episode? Click here.

The Birth of HealthJoy

Justin's journey to founding HealthJoy began with a personal experience – a skiing accident that left him navigating the complex world of healthcare with a high-deductible insurance plan. He quickly realized the challenges individuals face when trying to understand their coverage, find in-network providers, and access affordable, high-quality care.

"I was trying to figure out how not to hit my deductible," Justin explained. "I called up the place they referred me. They had no idea how much it would cost. I did my own research. No one had any idea how much it was going to cost my insurance, a lot of places didn't even take my insurance."

This experience planted the seed for HealthJoy, a platform designed to help employees navigate their healthcare benefits and find the most cost-effective, high-quality care options.

Driving Cost Savings Through Engagement

One of the primary ways HealthJoy delivers savings to employers is by increasing employee engagement with cost-containment strategies already in place. As Justin explained, brokers and consultants often bundle various solutions, such as telemedicine, musculoskeletal care, and prescription copay programs, into an employer's health plan. However, these solutions are only effective if employees actually use them.

"Our job is to take all those strategies that may exist, and if they don't exist, we offer ones that we recommend that we're fully integrated with, that could be additive to that," Justin said. "And so we're taking these different cost containment strategies that exist at the plan level. And then we're saying, 'Hey, at HealthJoy, our job is how do we help make really one simple digital user experience to help drive steerage to those items.'"

HealthJoy aims to create a consumer-grade digital experience that understands each employee's unique needs and preferences. By personalizing the healthcare journey and proactively guiding employees to the right resources, HealthJoy helps increase the utilization of cost-saving solutions, ultimately driving down claims costs for employers.

The Importance of Virtual Care

During the pandemic, virtual care options like telemedicine and virtual primary care became essential for accessing healthcare services. While utilization has drifted downward since the peak of the pandemic, it remains higher than pre-pandemic levels.

HealthJoy has adapted to this shift by integrating various virtual care solutions into its platform, including telemedicine for behavioral health, virtual primary care, and virtual exercise coaching. These options not only provide convenient access to care but also help address healthcare deserts, where in-person providers may be scarce.

"Giving that access to those services when you're able to talk to a therapist or a psychiatrist within a matter of days was a massive benefit for a lot of employers in 2021 and still through today," Justin said.

Challenges and Opportunities Ahead

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, HealthJoy remains focused on addressing the most pressing challenges facing employers and employees. Justin highlighted three key issues the industry is grappling with pharmacy costs, high-cost claimants, and the obesity epidemic.

"The biggest challenge this year is that we are not out of these macroeconomic conditions. We're not out of it," Justin warned. "You're doing it at a time when employers don't have more money to spend. The squeeze is not done yet."

To navigate these challenges, HealthJoy is doubling down on its commitment to cost containment, personalization, and empowering brokers and consultants with better decision-making tools. Partnerships with solutions like Employer Direct Healthcare's Centers of Excellence network aim to provide employees with access to high-quality, affordable care for complex conditions.

The Future of HealthJoy

Looking ahead, Justin envisions a future where HealthJoy has made healthcare simple for employees, reducing the complexity often associated with navigating the healthcare system.

"Our vision is how do we make it easy, healthy, and well? How do we reduce the complexity? How do we make it so people don't say healthcare is complex?" Justin said.

Over the next three years, HealthJoy plans to focus on empowering brokers and consultants, driving cost savings through increased utilization of cost-containment strategies, and delivering highly personalized experiences to employees.

The podcast covers even more ground on these crucial topics. Stay tuned for future insightful episodes at
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