9 Tips to Control Your Company’s Healthcare Costs
Rising health care and premium costs make it necessary for employers to examine a variety of different cost-saving measures by making employee benefit decisions like any other business expense. Quality of health care is no longer the only factor to be considered. Companies today are seeking employee health plan packages that will give them the most for their dollars at lower premium costs than paying more moneyf or fewer services.
Here are some tips to help provide quality coverage while saving money:
- Review and revise- wisely: Review and revise your health care package. Plan changes than can make significant differences, including raising deductibles and linking employee co-pays more directly to the type of treatment or prescription drug.
- Let them get physical: Encourage employees to get a yearly physical by their personal physician to help them take a proactive and preventive approach to their health and wellness. Early detection leads to quicker treatment before a medical condition becomes more serious and costs everyone more money.
- Keep a healthy bank account: Consider the use of Health Savings Accounts. HSAs can dramatically reduce health care costs. HSAs combine high-deductible health insurance with tax-deductible savings accounts. Deductibles are paid out of the account with the insurance picking up major medical costs.
- Be in control of the health plan: Select your program based on service, not just price. Selecting the right plan for a business should involve more than the spreadsheet cost. Discounts offered by benefit managers are only one factor. The real cost comes from plan usage by employees. The more uncontrolled usage by employees, the higher the costs- that’s why plan design and usage cost controls are so important.
- Know your employees numbers: Categorize employees by the risk associated with their state of health. This can be done in many ways. For example, one way to calculate a factor based on their age multiplied by their BMI (Body Mass Index). You can find standard tables for BMI in public or government literature. Most basic risk factors are age, genetics (can’t control this), and lifestyles which influences BMI.
- Educate your employees: An informed employee can learn to ask the right questions to control the cost of care and indentify errors in claim submission, costing them and the insurance carrier money. Most employees do not truly understand the coverage they have. Instead they end up incorrectly utilizing their coverage and wasting dollars.
- Healthy lifestyles start with you: Promote wellness on the job- everything from eating right to fitness programs to workout rooms. Offer employee-sponsored wellness programs that promote healthy lifestyle behaviors such as weight loss and smoking cessation. Recent research shows that more employers are making employees accountable for their health by giving them better health management tools in an attempt to shift some of the cost.
- Make it easy to stay health & informed: Provide employees access to online informational health resource and 24-hour toll-free nurse hotlines. Registered nurses are available 7 days per week to answer member questions and offer advice related to nonmedical emergencies. Members of the health plan offering this service will be requested to provide a group and member I.D. number. After talking to members about their symptoms, nurses may explain how to treat the condition at home or recommend that the person schedule an appointment with his physician. Nurse hotlines can often save the employer and the health care consumer time and money.
- Consider a new kind of Rx: Encourage mail-order prescription drug programs in an effort to control the rising costs of prescription medications. Promoting the use of generic drugs rather than name-brand medications is another way to help cut the cost of prescription drugs. In addition, some employers are saving money by contracting with pharmacy benefits managers who are able to offer volume discounts on dispensing drugs.
With some careful strategizing- and creative thinking on your part- you can succeed in your cost-cutting initiative while maintaining high-quality and secure health coverage for your most valuable asset, your employees.
To learn how The Seltzer Group can help you re-evaluate your health plan and save you money, visit us online or call 1-888-366-1000.
The Seltzer Group with locations in Schuylkill Haven, Orwigsburg, and Pottsville, Pennsylvania, serves businesses and individuals locally, regionally, and on the national level. The Seltzer Group is a proud member of the Keystone Insurers Group.