I was reading through an article this morning on cutting the costs of health care. Some of it was pretty good. But I had a bit more that I share with my clients. This is a very generic example of just some of the conversations I have and ways I help my clients.
Here is a bit of back ground on how to cut costs, followed by some of my ideas we should discuss...
Most companies are looking to improve their employees’ overall health and implement other cost-cutting strategies to manage continually increasing costs
Most companies are looking to lower their rising health care costs and improve their employees’ overall health. When human resources professionals look toward the future, they are evaluating strategies to help manage costs both short- and long-term.
According to various industry experts, health care costs are expected to increase further in 2012, but many project a smaller increase than in recent years. Regardless, costs are still burdensome to most employers, leading companies to adopt a variety of strategies to mitigate and manage these costs.
Here are just a few things we need to discuss... Call me to review your plans today....
In an effort to reduce benefit costs, many of my employers are implementing some of the following cost containment strategies:
Rewards For Good Health
- Offer financial incentives to employees who have healthy habits and lifestyles or those who participate in wellness programs at work. Penalize workers with higher premiums for engaging in unhealthy activities, such as smoking.
- Offer discounted rates for those who participate in wellness programs and maintain good health.
Preventive Care Benefits
- Encourage employee use of preventive care benefits, including appropriate screenings and vaccinations. Emphasize that these services are at no cost to employees.
On-Site Health Centers
- Offer on-site health centers and staff health coaches to provide advice on personal health needs and make seeking care more cost-effective and convenient.
Catering to Individualized Needs
- Offer voluntary benefit options that meet personal and family needs such as homeowners, automobile and group life insurance. Also, offer discounts on vision, dental, massage therapy, chiropractic care, health club memberships and weight-control programs.
- Provide online tools for employees on health education and other resources to help them become smarter health care consumers.
Consumer-Driven Health Plans
- Offer a HDHP with an HSA or HRA to promote consumerism and reduce costs.
Analyze Dependent Coverage
- Pay close attention to the spouses and dependents that employees enroll for benefits. Some companies require employees to pay higher premiums if their spouse can obtain health coverage through his or her employer.
- Conduct an eligibility audit to validate that dependents are legal dependents and remove ineligible dependents from the plan. Some plans are also starting to charge more for dependent coverage.
Align Your Goals
- Weave business goals with health goals and devise a way for individuals or departments to lose weight, start exercising and/or stop engaging in unhealthy habits.
- Use marketing techniques that will motivate employees to take action.
- Instead of having employees pay a copayment of $10 or $15, require them to pay a percentage of their health care expenses (known as coinsurance). This may make your employees more aware of their health care expenses.
Encourage the Use of Generic Drugs
- Suggest that employees use the generic form of their prescriptions (if available) to save both your organization and the employee money.
- Join or create a tiered or high performance network, which encourage patients to visit more efficient doctors either through network restrictions or tiered copay and coinsurance amounts.
- Many businesses are choosing to re-evaluate their overall benefits strategy in light of health care reform and other developments.
Take time this year to ensure that you are making the right choices in plan design and benefits offerings. Implementing these health strategies can help reduce costs and promote a healthier workforce. Getting this step wrong turns a positive work force into a negative workforce pretty quickly.
I am a health insurance expert. You can count on me to help you design a plan that you can afford, and your employees will see as a true benefit of working for you!
Please just give me a call. Until I open my office in Hilmar you can reach me at 888-991-2929
Regan Jennings GDI Health Insurance Broker and Expert!
PS. Just for calling I'll give you a free wellness plan for your company!