With summer in full swing it’s easy to get distracted by all the barbecues, beach trips and family vacations. As someone who runs a business, I know that while the summer is a time for fun, it’s also a time for planning. When it comes to health plans, businesses should use the summer to start thinking about their options in order to be prepared for the fall open-enrollment period. Below are three key considerations for saving money on health costs while ensuring your people have access to great care.
1. Look for Plans That Reward Coordinated Care at a Better Price
In the past two years I have seen the health care system turned on its head. One of the biggest emerging trends coming out during this time, and one that can save businesses major dollars, is the shift toward plan options that focus on creating a better health care experience at a better price using coordinated approaches to care. With these plan offerings hospitals, physicians and insurance providers work together to eliminate waste and lower costs, while improving health outcomes for patients. To save your company money, keep an eye out for plans that offer coordination amongst these three key players and that provide comprehensive, efficient, preventative - and never redundant patient care. Since these plans align incentives and combine the lowest possible cost with high quality care, your CFO and employees will thank you.
2. Employ Technology to Enable Employee Choice
Since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) went into effect in 2010, health insurance has been undergoing a major transition from an employer-driven model to consumer-driven model. Folks are shopping for health insurance like they shop for electronics on Amazon. With your employees now in the driver’s seat, more and more companies are offering benefits through private health insurance exchanges that empower consumers to choose the best plan for their family’s specific needs. Private exchanges offer the flexibility your employees demand, and predictable costs for your business’s bottom line.
Another great option for lowering your health costs is to look into the potential benefits of high deductible health plans. These plans offer a great amount of flexibility for employers and are often supported with anemployee-owned health savings account (HSA) or an employer-owned health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). This option could help you predict your yearly health costs by clearly outlining for employees what is covered and how many dollars will go towards their accounts each month.
3. Build a Corporate Wellness Program
The ultimate goal is to prevent health issues before they start, which brings us to wellness programs. By incentivizing healthy behaviors year-round, corporate wellness programs can save businesses countless amounts of money while improving productivity and morale. From providing healthy snacks to company-sponsored exercise activities, these programs are designed to reduce trips to the doctor, limit sick leave, and take a more proactive approach to keeping personnel happy and healthy. Evidence-based lifestyle management programs can help focus programs on employees with existing conditions and deliver educational materials to promote better choices.
Building healthier workforces across Northern Virginia is something I am deeply passionate about. By taking into account these key considerations you could be taking an important step toward better health outcomes and increased costs saving for you and your employees.