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The Small Businesses Healthcare Revolution

A recent study found 79 percent of small business owners worry about the costs of healthcare. Fifty-nine percent also believe that an increase in insurance premiums will make it challenging to continue providing healthcare benefits for employees. Another 47 percent lament that the costs of health insurance limit their abilities to offer raises or bonuses.

When it comes to business operations, small businesses (those with nine employees or less) work differently than larger companies. Limited financial and human resources force them to operate from a different perspective. Owners must find creative solutions for day to day operations, customer service, human resources, and company culture.

Success hinges upon their ability to build a highly functioning team of qualified individuals who wear multiple hats. Recruiting and retaining the best talent is often tricky because smaller budgets mean smaller salaries. Employees in these situations value a company culture that makes them feel provided for and appreciated. An integral part of that culture is a benefits package with meaningful health coverage.

The Problem with Traditional Options

Businesses with less than 50 employees don’t have to provide healthcare, but most employers know that health benefits are what potential employees are looking for. A survey by the Employee Benefit Research Institute acknowledged that workers overwhelmingly consider health insurance to be the most critical workplace benefit.

Because of health insurance’s financial burden, some small businesses choose self-funded plans where they pay health claims out of pocket rather than a fixed insurance premium. This choice can be risky business as it exposes the company to the risk of extensive bills in the event of a catastrophic employee health crisis. To avoid the potential for bankruptcy, many companies take on the additional cost of stop-loss insurance to mitigate the risks.

Small group plans are often expensive, non-customizable, and come with yearly premium increases. And because employees are all part of the same risk pool, even one indisposed employee leads to higher prices.

For the small businesses who want to offer a health plan, a high deductible health plan (HDHP) is one option. While coverage is available, employees often feel they can’t afford to use the plan because of out-of-pocket costs. Having to meet a high deductible before coverage kicks in is difficult for most families. A recent survey found that nearly 25 percent of Americans skipped medical care over the past year because of costs.

Affordable Solutions for Employers and Employees

Because Direct Primary Care (DPC) is a no-claims healthcare membership, DPC protects employers’ health plans by diverting claims for acute care, chronic disease management, and urgent care away from health plans and into the DPC environment. For example, employers who incorporate DPC into their level funded or ASO plans reduce their odds of exceeding claims allowances and increasing rates the following year. Because there are no claims for care provided by DPC providers, employers can give their employees affordable access to primary care to maintain health and manage chronic diseases without the impact of those claims hitting their plan. Additionally, diseases managed in the early stages through DPC can potentially save the company from more expensive shock claims due to those conditions not being managed.

Small employers can stand out from competitors by offering affordable DPC to 1099 employees, part-time workers, full-time staff, and dependents. To attract and retain the most qualified contractors and employees, companies must think outside the box to provide top-notch healthcare. DPC gives the uninsured benefits they want while protecting their employer’s bottom line.

Employees Want to Know They Matter

With DPC, members pay a low monthly fee for unlimited primary care visits instead of paying monthly insurance premiums. There are no expensive copays or deductibles to meet, and plans also include telemedicine, virtual visits, and prescription discounts. DPC can also be offered alongside a self-funded plan or HDHP as a gap solution.

Providing affordable and easily accessible healthcare is a logical step toward improving employees’ health, who may be more likely to embrace preventive screenings and care. One could also conclude that healthier employees with an option like DPC are less likely to be burdened by financial stress. Feeling valued, enjoying minimal healthcare costs, and self-care are likely to boost attendance, productivity, and profits for any small business.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are nearly 30 million small businesses in the United States, employing 47.8 percent of workers. To learn how to bring direct primary care to this enormous market, download more information on Healthcare2U’s Small-Group Bundle.

 

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