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strategy for healthcare cost reduction

Healthcare costs are continuously increasing and employers have only few options to get their costs under control. It is very important for companies to understand the impact of these interventions and create their own strategy for healthcare cost reduction.

So what can companies do to control their immediate healthcare costs? This webcast gives an overview of company’s options to keep a check on their healthcare costs:

  • Balance costs to employees, Offer plans with fewer features

When healthcare costs were less expensive, companies used to cover the complete health insurance premium for their employees. But as premiums skyrocketed, employers begin to split the cost of premiums with their employees. Then employers pinned on insurance plans with higher deductibles. But in the last 10 years, there has been 61% increase in health insurance premiums and an 83% increase in employee contributions towards the health insurance cost. Therefore, reducing the features of plans offered is a better way employers can cut down their immediate healthcare costs. Offering HRAs and HSAs enable both employers and employees to reap tax benefits to balance the healthcare costs.

  • Help chronic-ill employees manage their illnesses

Employees suffering from diabetes, asthma, cancer, and heart disease face difficulty navigating the healthcare system, and managing continuous stream of bills. Services that assist low number of very expensive healthcare users are a wonderful intervention that can make their life much easier and helps in managing immediate costs.

  • Maximize Wellness

Wellness programs are an intervention aiming distant future healthcare expenses like lack of exercise, poor eating habits, etc. Investing in improving health today might save money on healthcare in a few decades. Though it is a worthwhile policy, the potential savings are not immediate.

  • Allow your employees to contract directly with Hospital Systems

There are some employers who are contracting directly with healthcare to offer their employees treatment at pre-determined healthcare institutions for a pre-approved list of high cost procedures. For instance, if an employee needs a hip replacement, the employee will travel to hospital where they will assess the need and, if it is necessary, the procedure will be performed at a flat rate. This strategy is very promising for routine, predictable, high cost, procedures.

  • Entitle employees as educated, cost-conscious consumers

Healthcare costs vary considerably. For instance, an MRI might cost $1800 at one healthcare institution and $900 at another for the same test. Giving your employees access to the details on how much healthcare cost might help them become smarter consumers of healthcare, especially for those healthcare services that give a fixed price rate.

  • Make use of a flexible contribution arrangement (FSA)

FSAs enable employees to collect and store money that can be used for medical expenses tax-free. FSAs may be funded by voluntary salary reductions with an employer, and there is no employment of income tax enforced. Another advantage of FSAs comes from the ability of employers to make contribution towards an account that can be excluded from the gross income of an employee. From an employee’s mindset, an FSA allows for flexibility and safety in case of a medical emergency.

Conclusion

It is very crucial to educate employees on the available tools and programs, because doing so can help you control costs, while providing apt benefits and employee engagement at the same time. By adopting the above mentioned healthcare cost reduction strategies, you are engaging your workforce and allowing them to have an active role in determining an apt course of action. By enabling these strategies and choosing the right benefits partner, you can witness your company’s healthcare costs lower considerably.

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