Solutions to Alleviate Financial Worries in Healthcare
Americans with employer health benefits appreciate having access to healthcare through an employer plan. But many report financial challenges related to their healthcare costs, particularly among those facing high deductibles or suffering from chronic conditions.
In 2019, 40 percent of people relying on employer coverage faced difficulty paying medical bills or struggled to afford their premiums, deductibles, cost sharing or an unexpected bill that year. More than half reported they or a loved one skipped or postponed care because of prohibitive costs.
Fast forward to 2022, two years into a global pandemic that placed a huge financial strain on the entire healthcare system, and you still see the lingering effects of an economy that has been shaken in every way possible. Here we’ll examine key takeaways from a recent KFF benefits survey and ways brokers can offer solutions during these challenging times.
Employees Worry About Costs
At the end of 2021, Kaiser Family Foundation released the 2021 Employer Health Benefits Survey. They reported annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose 4 percent to an average of $22,221 last year. The annual inflation rate in the U.S. surpassed 6 percent in October of 2021. This includes the cost of shelter, which increased 3.5 percent.
Senior vice president of KFF and co-author of the study, Gary Claxton said, “Deductibles are a concern for lower-wage workers, and [employers] want to make a plan that’s affordable so the contribution is not too high.” Typically, employers try to keep the costs of health plans down by passing the costs on to employees. This doesn’t encourage workers to enroll.
The Expansion of Telemedicine
More than 60 percent of offering firms with at least 50 workers reported making changes related to telemedicine due to the pandemic. Fifty percent promoted their telemedicine benefits more to staff, and 31 percent expanded coverage for additional modes of telemedicine. In addition, nearly 25 percent of employers expanded the places where telemedicine could be delivered, expanded the number or types of telemedicine providers, and expanded covered telemedicine services.
Employers seek solutions that will help mitigate the costs of providing healthcare as well as provide meaningful benefits such as telemedicine. This is a wonderful opportunity for brokers to reintroduce employers to the benefits of direct primary care (DPC).
Providing Solutions for Employers and Employees
Direct primary care is popular among employers because it doesn’t generate claims when employees utilize it. This is a powerful cost-reduction strategy when included with plans that offer traditional insurance options that generate unpredictable claims which impact profits.
DPC memberships also provide peace of mind for employees because it requires no premiums, deductibles, or expensive copays. In addition to unlimited in-office visits, members also get unlimited access to virtual DPC appointments.
If you’d like more information about how direct primary care can reduce healthcare costs for employers and their staff, contact Healthcare2U.
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