Chances are you or your company is struggling with what to do with the benefit plans offered by your company for 2019. There are so many questions.
How can I control these costs?
We can’t afford a rate increase….
How much of this can be passed along to employees when they only got a 2% raise?
Should I just raise deductibles to keep costs down?
You get it, so many questions.
As brokers we can try and help advise clients, but each answer is different based upon how your organization treats employees and what the leadership believes. We see some companies absorb all the cost to other employers pass along 100%. We see some companies only focus on providing coverage via a management carve out and leave the employees to fend for themselves. I hate to sound cliche’ but there is no one size fits all approach.
It’s the wrong time to figure out a strategy after you have received the renewal.
Here’s 5 ideas that I have to cut your health insurance costs.
BUY A HIGHER DEDUCTIBLE AND BACKFILL WITH AN HRA.
In my experience, most plan participants very rarely exceed their deductible. Most people need coverage for general maintenance medications and doctors office copays. It’s easier to buy a higher deductible and then backfill this as employees need to use coverage. Have a plan in place to take care of your employees who are high users and will meet this deductible.
BUY TELEDOC COVERAGE
Employees want coverage for doctors visits. If you buy a plan with a $40 or $60 copay your employees will struggle to be able to pay that. In my opinion, that a ridiculous cost to pay for a doctors visit also. Buy a teledoc plan and let your employees have access to free doctor visits via their cell phone. It’s a better experience for the minor cold or general doctor services and can be provided to employees so they have no copay!
Create a culture that focuses on employees. Preventive care is 100% paid for by the health plan. There is no cost to an employee to get this benefit. Does everyone on your staff get a preventive care visit? Help them get their annual checkup. Provide an afternoon off without a reduction in vacation to allow your employees to take care of their health without being penalized on PTO or vacation time.
Employees need to be educated about their health plan and how to use it. Are they using a PPO provider? Are they asking the right questions to control their healthcare? Are they assuming that prescription drugs will take care of a condition that can also be controlled by diet and/or exercise. HR leaders and CEO’s work with health plans annually, but employees have no idea what goes on behind the scenes. Help employees be a better consumer.
CREATE A WELLNESS PLAN
There is no way that I have ever found to show how a wellness plan directly correlates into health plan savings. What I can tell you is this. if your employees are healthy, there are a variety of alternative plans that provide lower costs and premium refunds if the plan is profitable. These plans aren’t for everyone, but the healthiest groups capitalize on these, saving money, while other groups pay higher premiums for similar coverage.
These are just a few thoughts that an organization can use to help lower their benefit costs, take care of employees, be more productive and profitable. Thams Agency can help. Feel free to reach out below.