“Health insurance sucks.” This is a sentiment every patient has probably identified with at some point over the last year. Employer-provided benefit programs can certainly help employees with cutting health care costs, but they still leave so much to be desired. If you think insurance plans are confusing and that trying to understand your benefits is like deciphering hieroglyphics from ancient Egypt; you’re not alone.
(Read: The 37 Stages of Reading Medical Bills)
Employers recognize the challenges their employees are facing. Between confusing plans, providing options low cost medical care and employee wellness; it can be challenging to focus on one area and change the game. Many employer groups have made significant strides to improve overall employee wellness with the implementation of programs that reward healthy lifestyles. These kinds of programs are so valuable, but high health costs are becoming an increasingly ominous concern for employees across the country.
The average cost for employer-provided health coverage has risen 4% over the last year. For a family plan the average price has gone from $16,834 (2014) to $17,545 (2015), according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. There are a number of components contributing to these rising employee out-of-pocket costs, but higher deductibles have certainly made a dent. Last year, the average deductible for a single employee was $1,217. Five years before that, the average deductible was only $917. This year, the average tops out at a whopping $1,318, which means patients are paying more out-of-pocket than ever before.
Finding a way to lower employee costs and create effective employee programs is still a mystery to most. Educated employees and giving them access to price transparency tools can help them become better, more consumer-driven patients. With tools like Save On Medical, employers will see lower premiums and employees will have lower out-of-pocket costs and be able to save on medical bills before they arrive. They can actually find cheap places to get lab work done or pay for an affordable MRI without the sticker shock of steep medical bills down the line.
The Issue: Employers are struggling to find programs that really work for their employees that are able to:
- Be used in conjunction with their insurance
- Truly show value both in regards to saving money and taking care of their employees
- Be put in place easily, without creating more hoops for employees to jump through
- Be easy to use