Rising healthcare costs are a hot topic today and a growing concern for employers. One recent report Americans’ Challenges with Health Care Costs found that 34% of insured adults say that it is difficult for them to pay their premiums and deductibles. Furthermore, 50% of adults in the United States say the either they or a family member has skipped or delayed some type of healthcare because of the treatment cost. As a result, one in eight says that their condition worsened due to a lack of treatment.
This puts a burden on employers to find ways to reduce healthcare costs. As they approach open enrollment, many turn to benefits brokers to help and this is how they do it.
They can help design plans to steer workers into lower cost, higher quality facilities for care.
Medical providers and services often have different price tags that can vary widely from facility to facility. By creating plans that empower employees to act more in a consumer role and shop around for the best price, they can take an active part in reducing their own healthcare costs. Plans that encourage this behavior allow insured employees to conduct cost comparisons for providers within the network and choosing the most cost-effective option.
They can help design plans that increase the use of price transparency tools.
Healthcare price transparency means providing accessibility of costs to insureds so that they can make informed decisions regarding their care. Hospitals, physicians, treatments, and other medical-related expenses all fall under the healthcare umbrella. Price transparency tools are often databases that allow cost comparisons. By choosing plans that use price transparency tools, employees can take more control of their medical care and associated costs.
They can work with employers to create programs that will improve their “health care literacy.”
Health care literacy is a person’s ability to access, read, comprehend, and utilize healthcare information so that they can make the right decisions about their healthcare. Employers have a responsibility to be health care literate in order to effectively communicate information on health insurance plans and wellness programs. Brokers can help employers create programs that will educate employees on their options and increase their health care literacy, thus allowing them to make smarter choices and keep costs down.
They can help employers design plans that will bring the doctor to their employees.
More and more employers are opting for on-site primary clinics and bringing the doctor to the employees. On-site care is a low-cost healthcare model that places the doctor within the organization. They often offer full-spectrum primary care, wellness programs, occupational medicine, preventative health, and some plans even include a pharmacy.
Mobile health clinics are also growing in popularity as employers seek to reduce healthcare costs. The fully functioning clinic is housed within a mobile unit which is equipped for a number of diagnostic tests, exams, and even has a waiting room. This is popular for organizations that have several locations because the mobile unit can move from one location to the next or set a route so that it is at a certain location on certain days.
When open enrollment season is here, don’t get caught unprepared. Contact Innovative Broker Services at 916-932-2864 or schedule a call to speak to one of our knowledgeable, friendly representatives. Then download our free checklist 8 Easy Steps to Your Best Open Enrollment Ever.