August 15, 2017

Anne Killian | (262) 373-7614

Top 10 Health Conditions Costing Organizations the Most 

International Foundation survey finds diabetes, cancer and arthritis greatly impacting plan health costs.

Brookfield, Wisconsin — More than 30 million people, or 9.4 percent of the U.S. population, have been diagnosed with diabetes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention National Diabetes Statistics Report, 2017.  Managing this epidemic is a growing concern for workplaces — Not only are employers thinking about the well-being of affected employees, but, according to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Workplace Wellness Trends 2017 Survey Results, diabetes is the number one condition impacting benefit plan health costs.

What other conditions are costly for employers to cover? We asked respondents to select the top three conditions impacting plan costs in Workplace Wellness Trends 2017 Survey Results. Here are the top 10:

  1. Diabetes: 41%
  2. Cancer (any kind): 33%
  3. Arthritis/back/musculoskeletal: 32%
  4. Obesity: 29%
  5. Heart disease: 27%
  6. Hypertension/high blood pressure: 26%
  7. Depression/mental illness: 20%
  8. High cholesterol: 11%
  9. Smoking: 9%
  10. High-risk pregnancy: 4%

"Our data shows that about half of employers use disease management programs to help manage the costs of these very expensive chronic conditions," said Julie Stich, CEBS, associate vice president of content at the International Foundation. "In addition, about three in five employers use health screenings and health risk assessments to help employees identify and monitor these conditions so that they can be managed more effectively. Early identification helps the employer and the employee."

For more information and to read the full survey report, visit Survey responses were received from 530 U.S. and Canadian organizations belonging to the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists and National Wellness Institute.


About the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans 
The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is the premier educational organization dedicated to providing the diverse employee benefits community with objective, solution-oriented education, research and information to ensure the health and financial security of plan beneficiaries worldwide. The Foundation has more than 33,000 multiemployer, corporate and public sector members representing over 25 million lives. For additional information, visit

About the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists 
The International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (ISCEBS) is a membership organization for those who have earned or are pursuing the Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), Group Benefits Associate (GBA), Retirement Plans Associate (RPA) or Compensation Management Specialist (CMS) designations. Members have access to educational programs, information resources, networking at the local and national levels, publications and other services. Nearly 4,000 CEBS, GBA, RPA and CMS designees are members of ISCEBS; they work for corporations, consulting firms, multiemployer funds and insurance companies and in other industry professions.

About the National Wellness Institute 
The National Wellness Institute (NWI) is the leader in providing professional development and engagement opportunities that support individuals from a variety of disciplines in promoting whole-person wellness. At the core of NWI offerings is a six-dimensional model of wellness that provides the categories from which NWI derives its resources and services.