Report: Employees are Overwhelmed, Delaying Care at High Rates

June 5, 2023

New health trends report explores causes of stress and offers solutions, including virtual care expansion and enhanced health equity.

SEATTLE, June 5, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Accolade (Nasdaq: ACCD), the company that provides millions of people and their families with Personalized Healthcare, announced today findings of a new Savanta employer healthcare survey that shows nearly half of employees (49%) are overwhelmed by managing their own and their family members' healthcare and about two-thirds (65%) have delayed or avoided care as a result.

Employees are Overwhelmed, Delaying Care at High Rates  - new report explores causes of stress, solutions for employers.

The survey of 2,000 people enrolled in employer-provided healthcare plans, confirmed a direct connection between this strain and delaying care, with the top stressors as cost of care (60%), billing confusion (37%), and difficulty finding a provider and making an appointment (37%). The report also explores barriers to care, including health equity, and an increasing appetite for free and low-cost virtual care among consumers.

"Even with health insurance to help cover the high cost of healthcare, people are feeling stuck when it comes to seeking the care they need. What's concerning is that they are delaying or even avoiding care because of barriers, and that's where Accolade can intervene," said Ryan McQuaid, executive vice president of product and member marketing at Accolade. "By proactively engaging with employees and their families in the moments that matter, we can break the cycle of care delay with a personalized, curated approach that reaches them when they need it most."

Accolade, which delivers healthcare solutions to more than 11 million members insured by their employers, shared its findings through the lens of current healthcare and economic trends, with a focus on four "moments that matter": receiving a new serious diagnosis that requires additional care, managing chronic health conditions, experiencing new symptoms, and finding a provider. More than two-thirds of employees are seeking support from employers in these moments.

Key Findings

Exploring stressors

  • Cost of care is the top stressor for employees (60%)

o The report explores the economic impact of healthcare on employees - data from Kaiser Family Foundation and CNBC that indicates 44% of insured adults worry about covering the health insurance deductible costs, which isn't surprising consider 58% of households are living paycheck to paycheck.

  • Confusing billing and payment and finding a provider tied for second (37%)
    • The average wait time to see a primary care physician is more than 20 days, and 30% of respondents had to cancel an appointment in the past 12 months – the report explores the "why" in detail.
    • The fix? Virtual care. Nearly half of respondents said it would improve their lives, and 40% said they'd be more likto use it if it was a free or low-cost benefit.
    • For billing confusion, employees are seeking easy-to-navigate apps and websites (54%), plain language (48%) and programs to help with other aspects of life— such as employee financial benefits and assistance programs (44%) — would help reduce their stress.
  • Access to care is still inequitable – those identify as BIPOC, LGBTQIA+ face more challenges
    • Once respondents saw a doctor, 74% had a positive experience and 61% did not face challenges – but that figure changes dramatically among key populations. Those identifying as white faced significantly less challenges compared to those identifying as BIPOC or LGBTQIA+.

A deeper look at moments that matter

  • Employees ranked the importance of receiving support from their employer: receiving a serious diagnosis (67%), managing a chronic health condition (66%), difficulty finding a provider (65%) and experiencing new symptoms and not knowing how to identify the cause (62%).
  • Two-thirds of employees believe their employers should provide support in the four moments that matter.


Employers impact the healthcare experience of 156 million Americans, and should be empowered to make a positive impact on the health of employees. The report indicates the best ways for them to make an impact:

  • Consider the moments that matter: Improving challenges in the four moments that matter in employees' healthcare journey can improve their healthcare experience while addressing cost drivers.
  • Personalize experiences to address barriers to care: As employees face different barriers to care, a single approach may not fit your entire population. Consider benefits options that help employees overcome barriers specific to their individual experiences.
  • Prevent stress with predictive modeling and proactive care: By gathering important population data and member health insights, employers can bring care navigation and support programs to members before health issues become unavoidable.
  • Invest in Primary Care: Investment in primary care, potentially with a virtual-first approach, can remove factors that overwhelm employees and their families before they reach one of the moments that matter.

Accolade's new offering, Accolade Connect, acts on moments that matter most in the healthcare journey to ensure employees understand how and where to get the care they need. It bridges the gap between physical and mental health benefits navigation, advocacy, and care delivery services by integrating three solutions: Personal advocacy, virtual primary care and expert medical opinion. Learn more about Accolade Connect here.

Read more about the report here:

About Accolade 

Accolade (Nasdaq: ACCD) is a Personalized Healthcare company that provides millions of people and their families with exceptional healthcare experiences so they can live their healthiest lives. Accolade's employer, health plan and consumer solutions combine virtual primary care and mental health, expert medical opinion and best-in-class care navigation. These offerings are built on a platform that is engineered to care through predictive engagement of population health needs, proactive care that improves outcomes and cost savings, and by addressing barriers to access and continuity of care. Accolade consistently receives consumer satisfaction ratings of over 90%. For more information, visit Follow us on LinkedInTwitter, Instagram and Facebook.

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SOURCE Accolade

Accolade Media Relations,