How Can I Manage Healthcare Costs?
There's no sure-fire cure for rising healthcare costs. But you can take steps to keep your costs in line.
- Shop health insurance providers every two to three years. An insurance broker can help with this. Even if you don't change insurance providers, this exercise ensures that your current insurance provider keeps its pencil sharpened. You also keep abreast of what is going on in the health insurance industry, as well as what the competition is offering.
- Analyze your company's insurance usage annually to determine if employees are making costly healthcare choices by mistake. An example of this is when employees or their dependents use the emergency room versus urgent care when they need care that isn't life threatening. If behavior like this occurs in your company, consider increasing the co-pay or deductible as a disincentive to erroneously using that more costly service which can drive your premiums up.
- If your business pays for all or a large portion of the health insurance premium, consider passing on some of the premium cost to your employees. This should create incentive for them to be more frugal about their choices since increased premiums will also impact their bottom line.
- Eliminate any redundant insurance coverage. For example, some healthcare insurance plans include vision or dental care. If your organization offers a health insurance plan like this, as well as a separate vision or dental plan, you may be offering redundant coverage that you can eliminate to reduce cost.
- Consider a high deductible health insurance plan working in conjunction with Health Savings Accounts. Many businesses find these programs more affordable.
- Build a culture of wellness through:
- Smoking cessation program and/or smoking ban on premises.
- Weight loss program.
- Free or subsidized exercise facilities.
- Healthcare premium discounts for healthy employees.
- Healthy choices in vending machines.
- Wellness education.