At Athos we talk a lot about how brokers, consultants, and employers can offer the best possible healthcare experience for their employees—and it starts with choosing the right plan options. The health insurance industry has become so complex and more and more we are seeing custom built plans come into play. Even for experienced decision makers choosing the right plans to offer employees is a lot of pressure.
Last month we shared some detailed information on this topic with another series of Healthcare Hackr videos made especially for the people who make tough decisions about benefit packages. In case you missed it, review this series below—we hope our insights help keep employee satisfaction and support high when it comes to healthcare.
In this episode of Healthcare Hacks with Jon the “Healthcare Hackr”, he explores considerations beyond just cost when choosing a health plan to offer to your employees. While cost is an important factor, there several other important considerations:
1. He always recommends a high deductible health plan because the ability to use an HSA will save your employees money due to the tax benefit and it is a great way to save for retirement.
2. If a plan is significantly cheaper than its competitors, be skeptical. There is probably some attribute of the plan which will lead to employee dissatisfaction and complaints.
In this episode of Healthcare Hacks with Jon the “Healthcare Hackr”, he explores important areas to consider related to a health plan’s network. From our experience, a plan’s network is an important driver in employee satisfaction in a couple of ways:
1. Most employers believe changing health plans with different networks will cause employee dissatisfaction. What we have found is most employees won’t care and those that do just need to be clearly given a reason why the change was made.
2. Make sure the network is broad enough to cover most of your employees
3. Always pick a plan with a network – avoid referenced based pricing plans
4. Consider what pharmacies are in-network and choose a plan with a mail order pharmacy option.
In this episode of Healthcare Hacks with Jon the “Healthcare Hackr”, he explores important areas to consider related to a health plan’s benefit exclusions. These exclusion list what services will not be covered by a plan. While they are relatively consistent, there are some pretty large differences from plan to plan. An exclusion is a quick to create an upset employee. In our experience, it is critical to know:
1. What exclusions are included in almost every plan (for example cosmetic surgery)
2. What exclusions tend vary from plan to plan
3. That you have control and you can change or add benefit exclusions for your employees
If you have ever had to select a health plan for your employees, inevitably you have been confronted with the choice of high premium or high deductible plan. In this episode of Healthcare Hacks with Jon the “Healthcare Hackr”, he explores additional options to help you find affordable middle ground plans to offer your employees.
1. More and more employers are pairing an HRA with a high deductible health plan
2. While not as widespread, a growing number of small employers are using ICHRAs In addition to explaining these solutions, Jon speaks about a couple of key pros and cons to consider when making a choice.
If you are a broker or consultant, or an HR manager wanting help with anything healthcare related from picking an initial plan, to dealing with complex issues facing an employee you serve—we are here to help! Let’s have a conversation about working together to make healthcare more affordable, simple, and easier to use for those who need it.