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Ways to help employees manage out-of-pocket healthcare costs

A look at how employers can ease rising costs for their workforce.

Increasing healthcare cost don’t just impact employers. Some 26 percent of Americans say health care expenses have taken a serious toll on their family finances, and of these people, 7 percent ended up filing for bankruptcy, according to a recent poll from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. These burdens don’t just affect those who are unemployed or uninsured. Healthcare costs are rising across the board and more of the expense is falling on to employees in the form of higher deductibles and heftier co-pays.

What can employers do to help? A few key healthcare cost strategies to reduce the financial burden on members:

 

Education on healthcare price variance

Many times, employees aren’t aware that the same procedure within the same zip code can vary by thousands of dollars depending on facility. Pricing transparency tools are great self-service tools, but engagement and ROI improve when employees get help them using them wisely. Another proven engagement strategy is providing incentives when employees choose low-cost, high-quality care settings.

 

Advocacy or navigation programs

Employees shouldn’t have to navigate the confusing healthcare system alone. An employee advocacy service can help identify savings opportunities and guide members towards the highest quality and lowest cost providers.

 

Education on emergency room utilization

Emergency room visits can be as much as five times more expensive than other types of healthcare delivery. Urgent and primary care are less costly options as the first line of care and can save employees significantly in out-of-pocket costs.

 

Wellness programs that help employees stay healthy

When it comes to healthcare costs, prevention goes a long way. Consider adopting a wellness program that helps employees with conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure avoid costly complications and hospitalizations. Outreach for members who are overdue for preventive screenings can also help avoid future risk.

 

Telehealth

Ask employees with minor medical issues to call a nurse first. Telehealth programs offer another way to curb the expense of employees’ unnecessary urgent care or emergency room visits.

 

Pharmacy programs

Promote the usage of generic drugs when available. For members taking high-cost medications or treatments, ensure that they have resources available to ensure proper usage and reduce waste.

 


Rising costs and obscure pricing hurt employees and your bottom line. Start protecting both by contacting us here.

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