Healthcare Costs continued to rise in direct correlation to the rising cost of health insurance. For employers who fund health insurance programs and employees who contribute to the cost while also facing increasing out-of-pocket costs, reducing healthcare costs is crucial. CEOs, business owners, and human resource departments are continually seeking answers to the question, “How can healthcare costs be contained or reduced, while still providing premium coverage for employees?” Businesses everywhere are looking for innovative ways to keep costs down, provide the best coverage, and keep employees happy.
For employers hoping to decrease healthcare spending, shifting costs to employees through vehicles like high-deductible health plans might seem like a possible solution, until it alienates top employees. Another more popular option is the use of superior healthcare benefit strategies, such as being actively involved in promoting employee health and wellbeing, which can result in lower costs.
Strategies to Reduce Healthcare Costs
To aid you in your ongoing efforts to reduce healthcare costs, Burchfield Insurance Group offers these strategies.
Telehealth for Non-Emergency Situations
Telehealth, from nurse advice lines to telemedicine helps keep individuals out of hospital emergency rooms, urgent care centers, and doctor’s offices. Nurse advice lines promise a 24-hour resource for answers to health questions along with professional advice. Telemedicine takes the process a step further allowing healthcare professionals to assess, diagnose, and treat individuals online or on the phone, from the convenience of home. With 24/7 access, patients appreciate the ease and accuracy of telemedicine, and everyone sees savings through the avoidance of costly visits to emergency rooms and urgent care practices.
Cost Estimator Tools
Today’s insurance carriers provide easy access to a number of cost estimator tools designed to keep individuals informed. For example, freestanding facilities are more cost-effective than hospital-based care. By analyzing benefits results, claims data plus patient feedback can add up to big savings moving forward. Healthcare spending education can also help control costs. Employees who better understand how their choices affect overall healthcare expenses may make more economical selections.
Pharmacy strategies can reduce overall costs. As an example, generic alternatives for brand name medications can work just as effectively at a fraction of the cost. Excluding the use of costly specialty items like injected biologics or replacing them with other clinically effective alternatives is also a big money saver for employee healthcare plans. Comparing pharmacy benefits annually can mean better terms and costs savings as well.
Choose In-Network Providers
Network healthcare offers considerable cost savings when in-network providers are utilized. It also steers employees toward better preventative care as well as more cost-effective care within the network. This likely explains the emergence of new high performance network products which promise additional savings.
Take Advantage of Wellness Initiatives
Most carries offer wellness initiatives which can contribute to healthcare savings. Wellness programs can reduce some instances of chronic issues like musculoskeletal pain, while disease management initiatives can mean greater control over chronic diseases like high blood pressure and diabetes. Wellbeing initiatives which support a healthy lifestyle (nutrition, smoking cessation, exercise, stress reduction, etc.) can improve employee’s health and morale while decreasing stress, and reducing healthcare costs.
Health Savings Account could also be a good fit, lowering premiums, delivering tax benefits, and reducing overall costs. While high-deductible health plans might not be a popular standalone, when coupled with Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) employers might find they have a winner. High-deductible plans plus HSAs can be attractive to young and/or healthy employees who want to lower costs, but still feel protected financially in the event of an emergency.
Burchfield Insurance Can Help Your Company Customize Your Plan Today
Burchfield Insurance can help your company customize your plan making it attractive to your employers while lowering healthcare costs effectively. Once the customized healthcare benefits package is in place, complete with meaningful choices amid multiple benefit options, we offer benefit administration to aid you in rolling out the packages so employees are well-informed and able to personalize their enrollment decisions. In addition, we provide ongoing evaluation of your employees’ needs while staying on top of the latest industry trends to help your company provide value while taking control of plan management options. Please contact us today for more information or to request your FREE quote.