It’s certainly about time: Affordability has once again become a hot-button issue throughout the healthcare industry. There’s an encouraging focus on its criticality to salvaging the American healthcare system. And in recent months, leaders like Aon, Mercer, Deloitte and Willis Towers Watson have reported on safeguarding affordability as a goal unto itself.

Though affordability is not an endgame, but rather a product of transformation. It’s what is possible if the system was centered around value, advanced primary care, direct contracts tied to superior unit pricing and an end-to-end commitment to transparency and accountability.

Restoring healthcare affordability isn’t a trend for us at Centivo – it’s the reason we exist. But that’s not always the case for the other constituents of this broken system. If traditional carriers were meaningfully committed to solving the deepening impacts – wage stagnation, care avoidance, crushing medical debt – instead of profiting off it, or if purchasers could simply finance their way to affordability, there would likely be no Centivo.

Since we’re still here, we’re reaching out to the underdog in this transformation story: Employers.

Around this time of year, employers are getting a gut-punch of renewal pricing and running the numbers to provide a plan while helping employees keep food on their tables. But here’s the thing: no one should have to take the hit. Employers have the power to deliver quality healthcare choices that not only save their company money and put more cash in employees’ pockets but can also contribute to an overall system shift.

Our just-released report, “Power to the Employers: Unlocking Healthcare Affordability,” explores why current benefits approaches miss the mark and outlines simple yet achievable strategies to take back the reins.

So what does that power translate to? Over the last 12 months, members’ medical out-of-pocket costs – despite significant expenses such as cancer treatments and transplants – at several of our clients were:

  • Airline – $120
  • Technology company – $156
  • Pharmaceutical company – $168
  • Financial services – $239

And all of these clients utilized our free primary care, no deductible, all copay benefit design – while saving their company 20% or more.

Granted, there is no monopoly on the best ideas, and there are many other approaches that work as well. But it does start with (1) deciding that, as a society, we have had enough and (2) affirming that the supply side of healthcare holds the key to unlocking sustainable change.

We can achieve radical healthcare affordability. The question is – is it a means to a trend, or are we committed to doing so?


Ashok Subramanian Founder & CEO

Ashok founded Centivo in 2017 after observing the inefficiency in the healthcare system and the pain that has resulted for employers and employees.