Rising Trends in Employer Healthcare

Many employers are offering healthcare now because of the Affordable Care Act, but how are they managing them?

 

Many cost-conscious employers understand the need to offer benefits. Besides avoiding costly penalties, it shows they value their employees, helps attract and retain top talent, and adds an extra value that a paycheck or vacation time alone can’t add up to. But benefits can be costly, and we’re seeing trends in managing these costs.

Here are some of the top healthcare-cost management trends we’re seeing (and bound to see) with the ACA mandates upon us:

  1. Employers will shift their focus to education, management, and prevention in very specific ways to help manage the big claims that cost them more by investing in the short term in prevention and management.

  2. Direct involvement and management of delivering healthcare. This means not just educating employees on the best places for quality care, but rewarding and encouraging good healthcare consumption trends.

  3. Employers will track the highest health spenders – usually a small percentage of employees drive the majority of healthcare costs. This information can help them educate these big spenders on better, more cost efficient care options by tailoring their design and educating them on alternatives and disease management.

  4. Employers will be closely tracking trends, such as demographics, chronic illnesses, and other factors in reports to help tailor plans and provide better preventative care to save costs on later, more expensive fixes.

  5. Employers will partner with healthcare providers, who can help offer additional education on preventative treatments and education and avoid higher costs later.

  6. Telemedicine treatment programs to curb Emergency Room treatments and added access to primary care treatment after regular business hours.

  7. Partnering with wellness coaches specifically focused on the chronic illnesses and healthcare index of their employees will help pinpoint the most costly claimants and help reduce future big claims through education and follow ups.

  8. Employers will look to control the big costs of their healthcare – the actual claims themselves – instead of focusing on the smaller percentage of costs that result from additional administration and education.

The long and short of it: Managing the long term care and health of employees is proving to be the best, most cost effective healthcare management option. In the end, the money spent on administration, education, and partnering with health and wellness professionals adds up to big savings in terms of large claims and chronic illness. Plus, the investment helps keep employees healthier and more productive. Bonus!

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