At United Technologies, innovation drives everything we do, including our approach to providing health insurance benefits to our 70,000 eligible U.S. employees and their 85,000 covered family members — whose well- being is essential to our success.
We believe health insurance plans should give employees the ability to demand quality, affordable care and a clear understanding of actual health care costs. We believe that this “consumer-driven” approach to health care results in better outcomes and lower costs. UTC was an early adopter of this approach. We introduced a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) in 2007, accompanied by health savings accounts (HSAs) that allowed employees to set aside pretax dollars to pay for eligible medical expenses.
Almost two-thirds of our eligible nonunion U.S. employees now participate in the plan. Our ongoing analysis shows that participants:
- Use more preventive health services;
- Choose less-costly generic medications;
- See their doctors more regularly;
- Avoid the emergency room at a greater rate; and
- Engage more in UTC’s wellness programs.
The health care costs of employees who participate in the HDHP have grown at a slower rate than the broader medical trend. These employees have collectively saved more than $50 million in their HSAs, with another $70 million in contributions to be made in 2014, clearly demonstrating value of these accounts to our employees. We are focused on increasing participation in the future.
UTC also provides incentives and support for achieving better health outcomes, covers comprehensive treatment for autism and connects employees to world-class experts at facilities such as the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale University. Our company’s partnership with Yale expanded in 2013 when we established the UTC Professorship in Cancer Research to support visionary research that has shown great promise in the fight against cancer.
UTC will continue to work with health systems whose goals are aligned with ours. We look for innovative partners who provide high- quality, cost-effective care — as well as transparency and access to the information our employees and their families need to make informed decisions.
Our commitment to our employees’ well-being supports our high-performance culture and our ability to focus on delighting customers and creating shareholder value.