There's no magic bullet solution to bring down healthcare costs. In order to tackle this problem, you're going to need to confront it from multiple directions. Here are a few ways that you can begin bringing down spending without crippling your health insurance.
Educate Your Employees
Far too many Americans are undereducated when it comes to their healthcare. This problem commonly referred to as "healthcare illiteracy", can cause employees to seek out care when it isn't necessary or avoid it when they really do need it. Many employees may also have trouble following instructions from their doctors. All of this can drive up your healthcare costs.
You can and should discuss these issues with your employees. Simply educating them on basic healthcare terminology will go a long way towards helping them make the most of their health insurance — and that's something that can be done in an afternoon at little cost to you.
Avoid Expensive Drugs
In most cases, generics are the exact same thing as their more expensive counterparts. They treat the problem just as well and there are really no downsides to using them. The problem is that many employees — and even some physicians — are unaware of this. To combat these many employers are adding clauses into their pharmacy plans that incentivize the use of generics.
Another way of bringing down drug costs is by educating employees about their prescriptions. Some businesses do this by encouraging their employees to use apps like GoodRx. GoodRx and apps like it provide a list of local pharmacies where you can purchase medication along with the cash cost. Since many employees are only responsible for paying the copay they have no idea how much the drugs they use actually cost. Apps like this encourage better spending habits by increasing cost transparency.
There are a number of alternatives to traditional employer-sponsored health insurance. There are also things that you can use on top of your health plan to control costs. For example, if you offer high-deductible plans your employees probably qualify for a health savings account. An HSA allows you and your employees to save money for use on qualified healthcare expenses. This encourages employees to take more control over their own healthcare choices.
As we mentioned earlier, there's no one solution to the problem of healthcare spending. The problem is too multifaceted, and besides, every employer is different. What works for one may not work for another. The important thing is to find out what works for your business. This requires you to branch out and try new things. You may take a few losses before you find out what works, but the cost of doing nothing in the face of skyrocketing healthcare costs is much greater.
It's important to cut healthcare costs where you can. This makes the problems that are truly out of your control more manageable. For more information about providing affordable health insurance that will help you attract and retain talent, please contact us today.