Instituting Health Literacy Training
Healthcare is quite complex, ask any employee and they'll tell you this. This leads to health-illiterate employees paying significantly more for medicine and services than they need to. For many employees the language used by their doctors and found on their prescription bottles is completely alien. This lack of understanding leads to poorer treatment outcomes, which directly contributes to the increased medical costs.
In most cases it's not that an employee is incapable of understanding, it's simply that they don't have easy access to the information they need. As an employer you are in a prime position to counteract this. Your health insurance enrollment platform shouldn't be a black box, it should be a place where employees can learn about their options, enroll in their plan, and access their information.
Incentivizing Health By Gating Access
When it comes to incentivizing health some companies are getting creative. One such creative strategy is "gating". The idea is that employees who are healthier or health-aware will get access to better health insurance options while those who are higher risk will only have access to a basic plan. You could offer a basic high-deductible health insurance plan for every employee. Employees who choose to complete a health screening or meet certain wellness goals would have access to a better plan.
One of the biggest issues with the traditional healthcare model is a lack of transparency. Is the price you pay for a procedure or medication truly in line with what it costs? It seems clear that it isn't. The bill that insurance companies present to you is artificially inflated. Some markup is to be expected, but in certain cases the bill can be as much as 10 times what a procedure actually costs.
To combat this many business are turning to reference-based pricing. Reference-based pricing involves setting a hard cap on what you will pay for certain medical procedures, especially ones that vary wildly in cost from one place to the next. In practice this usually involves partnering with a health benefits provider. Setting the reference-based price isn't something that most businesses are equipped to do. Still, when combined with self-funding, reference-based pricing can certainly reduce overall health care spending.
These are just a few of the ways that employers are taking control of their healthcare spending. You can't afford to be passive. Healthcare costs will continue to rise in the foreseeable future and the way out is innovation, not legislation. By partnering with the right benefits provider you can work within your current framework to reduce your spending and create healthier, happier employees.
At Summerlin-Roberts we leverage our expertise in cost containment to provide the best possible benefits at the lowest possible price. This results in more sustainable health plans and cleaner budgets for our clients. For more information on seeing what's behind the curtain and reducing healthcare spend that affects your bottom line, please contact us today.