Five Ways Employers Can Reduce Their Healthcare Spending
October 9, 2019
Healthcare costs are on the rise. Research from the Society for Human Resource Management shows that most large employers in the U.S. expect their healthcare costs for 2020 to increase by at least 6% if they don’t make any adjustments, and by 5% if they adopt cost management initiatives. Plan premiums and annual cost increases are often higher for small and midsize employers who lack the bargaining power of bigger corporations. In fact, most small businesses pay about 8%-18% more than large companies for the same health insurance plans, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
In order to be a successful small business leader, it’s important to effectively evolve your healthcare benefit strategies to enhance your employees’ health and well-being while curbing costs. The five following strategies can help set you on the right path for success:
- Design a plan around healthcare instead of health insurance – Direct primary care (DPC) is an innovative approach to healthcare that removes insurance from the primary care setting. The model gives patients unlimited access to primary care services and the ability to visit with their primary care providers as often as they need, all for a flat monthly fee. DPC can provide a more cost-effective alternative to help you manage your employees’ health expenses by removing third-party payers.
- Give employees unlimited access to primary care – In addition to allowing your employees to visit their primary care providers during regular business hours, consider implementing a plan that allows your employees to call or text their providers after-hours, including on weekends and holidays. This untethered access to high-quality care helps keep staff healthier, happier and more productive.
- Let your employees’ healthcare providers manage their chronic conditions – As a small business leader, you put a lot of effort into keeping your business running smoothly. You shouldn’t have to spend time managing your employees’ health concerns, too. When minor illnesses or other medical issues arise, encourage your staff to consult with their primary care providers, either in person or via telemedicine. Addressing health needs as they arise helps keep staff members working at their best and allows them to miss less work.
- Eliminate E.R. and urgent care visits – Providing access to regular, high-quality care also helps eliminate trips to the emergency room (E.R.), where wait times can be lengthy, copays can be high and waiting rooms can pose a higher risk of exposure to other illnesses.
- Decrease downstream claims – DPC offers increased patient access, extended time with doctors and physician-led healthcare navigation at a more affordable flat monthly fee than traditional healthcare coverage. This untethered access to high-quality care not only helps eliminate E.R. and urgent care visits, but it also creates a culture of employees who are proactively engaged in their health.
To protect against large, unanticipated costs associated with serious illnesses or injuries, we also recommend offering a catastrophic or high-deductible insurance plan for your staff. While specialist visits, dental, vision and hospital care are not included in DPC memberships, they can also be covered by health insurance policies to help manage costs. For more information on reducing your employer healthcare spending, contact Strada Healthcare.