Partnering on Customizable Benefit Solutions Delivers Powerful Results
Providing health benefits to employees is one of the highest expenses for an employer. With such a large amount of revenue spent on maintaining staff health, employers are turning to brokers for solutions that support their workforce while helping their business stay profitable. As health care costs continue to rise, employers and their workers face unprecedented challenges.
As businesses pass expenses on to employees, skyrocketing prescription costs, rising copayments, and unattainable insurance deductibles have left many employees feeling overlooked. It is quite clear that traditional health plan offerings such as High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) are not enough on their own. Much of the population needs more affordable and easily accessible health care options.
Employers don’t know how to deliver more profitable benefits to staff without having a bigger impact on their bottom line. But by partnering with organizations that offer non-traditional benefit solutions, expert brokers and healthcare organizations can meet clients’ needs for better care while lowering costs.
There are innovative ways to create personalized plans that are used in the staffing services industry and within employer groups such as the three below where comprehensive health plans are not offered.
A better way
Direct primary care (CPD) has become an affordable and more accessible alternative to non-traditional health care. Unlike traditional health insurance products, members pay a low monthly fee for unlimited access to primary care and there are no premiums or deductibles to pay. There are also no claims for physicians to file or limits on the time they can spend with patients to meet insurance requirements.
CPD can help reduce the cost of health plans by mitigating claims. Yet savvy brokers have learned the power of combining direct primary care with other benefits to have an even greater impact on health plans. Let’s take a look at some of these powerful benefit partnerships.
Limited benefit compensation plans
A powerful ally of a direct primary care plan is a compensatory health insurance plan. This limited benefit plan pays a fixed benefit amount per day to help people cover the cost of standard medical services. Some even provide access to a nationwide network of PPO discounts to help minimize personal expenses.
This benefit is attractive to employees because it can cover services such as hospitalization, surgery, anesthesia, accidents and other costly items. They can still use their CPD membership for unlimited visits to a primary care provider, virtual care, and prescription discounts. In addition, they have the advantage of knowing that there is additional coverage from the accident compensation plan.
Employers value this partnership because it can help them attract and retain talent at a lower cost. They can provide quality primary health care at minimal cost, and the plan requires minimal administration. These products are also relatively easy to find and implement, as there are already bundles on the market. Check with your direct primary care source to see if they have any CPD / compensation products available.
Skinny medical plans
Lean medical plans are group plans that typically cover non-catastrophic health events. These plans can include routine preventative care and wellness benefits. Minimum essential coverage schemes (MEC) also fall into this category.
While far from comprehensive, these plans may appeal to young, healthy consumers because of their lower premiums. Unfortunately, these plans sometimes limit people with pre-existing conditions. This is where pairing them with a Direct Primary Membership can be extremely helpful. Most CPD memberships include keeping chronic illnesses within manageable limits, including those with pre-existing conditions.
These plans are attractive to companies that employ low-skilled workers with high turnover rates. Restaurants, retailers, hotels, and other hospitality businesses can benefit from combining direct primary care with a CEM or other lean plan.
Hospital compensation plans
Even a small trip to the hospital can be a major financial setback for some. HDHPs offer coverage, but the average family often struggles to meet high deductibles in today’s economic climate. Paying a large chunk out of pocket for hospital stays can add more difficulty to an already stressful situation.
Hospital compensation plans offer benefits for things like hospital admission, intensive care, and emergency room treatment. There are no deductibles and employees can also cover their spouses and children under these plans.
By pairing a hospital compensation plan with a CPD membership, employees can get daily health care for themselves and their dependents for little or no out-of-pocket expense. Using unlimited primary care, people can also detect disease states and other acute conditions before they escalate to the point of requiring a hospital stay. In an emergency, having the additional hospital allowance can provide peace of mind for families already living paycheck to paycheque.
High deductible / self-financing health plans
Businesses of all sizes have adopted High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) as a strategy to reduce the costs of providing health care. A great way to alleviate the blow of an HDHP is to insert direct primary care. Others are considering self-financing / level financing options coupled with CPD to avoid losses and limit their overall premium expenses.
With DPC, employees enjoy day-to-day benefits for routine care. When employees use their CPD membership for primary and preventive care before committing to their HDHP or self-funded plan, they can minimize costs and avoid paying expensive deductibles for primary care. It is also a victory for the employer, because the fewer employees who use the medicare plan for routine care, the less the employer has to pay in insurance claims. The minimization of the cost of primary care for the staff and the reduction in claims expenses for employers make DPC an ideal partner.
Times have already changed
Providing equitable and easily accessible health care to employees is no longer an option. Businesses face unprecedented challenges in recruiting and retaining quality talent. In addition to better compensation, better benefits will be a determining factor in differentiating one employer from another. Therefore, organizations focus on strategies that will help them stand out from candidates without depleting their resources.
Now more than ever, it is imperative for brokers to personalize solutions for clients. Brokers who lack the knowledge to craft more profitable and robust health plans will lose out to their more innovative competitors. Direct primary care is one of the many non-traditional benefits that can add value to any health care plan. It is essential that you educate yourself about the new options available in the healthcare market so that you do not get left behind.
Creating personalized solutions for customers is easier than you might think. There are many options and product bundles if brokers take the time to look. By increasing the resources available to employers, brokers can foster a partnership in which employers and their employees feel more satisfied with their benefit offerings. Working productively and strategically to deliver more, while remaining profitable, strengthens the entire health plan and, hopefully, the organization.
Andy Bonner is the CEO / co-founder of Health2U, an integrated and hybrid organization of direct primary care.