health plan savings

Optimizing Health Plan Utilization

  • December 6 2023
  • Holly Paulk

Eight Ways to Lower Expenses and Encourage Employee Wellness 

In a world where health is wealth, empowering employees to make informed choices about their well-being is essential. One significant aspect of this empowerment is equipping them to choose the right health plan. Employees need to be well-versed about their options and informed about maximizing the benefits of their health plan while keeping company health costs at a minimum. 

Believe it or not, providing a comprehensive health plan for your employees without breaking the bank is possible. To do so requires strong collaboration and open communication between you and your team. In this blog are eight ways to make this win-win happen. Share these strategies with your team to enhance their wellness and enable your company to realize long-term health plan savings.

Choosing Wisely: This first strategy is likely the most important of the seven but often the most overlooked. Employees must clearly understand their health plan options before choosing the right one. Encourage them to consider their health history, lifestyle, and any specific medical requirements. Then, familiarize your team with the coverage details, co-pays, deductibles, and available limitations. A well-suited plan ensures they are not paying for coverage they don't need while ensuring adequate protection for potential health issues.

Pursuing Preventative Care: Many health plans offer preventive care at little to no cost. Promote to your employees the advantages of regular check-ups, vaccinations, and screenings, which can detect potential health issues early on and prevent more significant problems down the road. Be sure to give employees time off to take advantage of these offerings. By proactively addressing health concerns before they worsen, you're not just promoting a healthier lifestyle for your team but also safeguarding your company from potentially high medical expenses down the line.

Utilizing Wellness Programs and Incentives: Some health plans provide wellness programs that offer incentives for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. These incentives might include discounts on gym memberships, wellness workshops, or even financial rewards for achieving health goals. Find out if your company’s health plan offers these incentives. If it does, encourage company-wide participation in these programs, which will improve employee well-being and add up to substantial savings.

Opting for Generic: When available, generic medications are almost always preferred. Reiterate this idea to your team often. Generics are equally as effective as their brand-name counterparts but come at a fraction of the cost. Many health plans encourage the use of generic drugs by offering lower copayments. If your health plan provides a preferred list of generic drugs, share it with your team. Encourage them to discuss generic options with their healthcare provider whenever considering prescriptions. 

Engaging with Telehealth Services: The rise of telehealth services has revolutionized how individuals access medical care. Utilizing virtual appointments for non-emergency situations can be a cost-effective alternative to in-person visits, saving time and money. Many health plans now offer telehealth options as part of their coverage, so promote the accessibility and affordability of these services to your employees, especially for routine healthcare needs.

Understanding Emergency vs. Urgent Care: While emergency departments and urgent care facilities play crucial roles in healthcare, understanding when to use them is essential. Educate employees on the importance of saving ER visits for severe or life-threatening situations and how urgent care facilities can address non-life-threatening issues promptly and usually at a lower cost.

Taking Advantage of HSAs and FSAs: If your health plan offers Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), encourage employees to take advantage of these tax-advantaged accounts. Contributions to these accounts are usually tax-deductible, and the funds can be used for qualified medical expenses, providing additional savings on healthcare costs.

Utilizing In-network Providers: Promote the use of in-network healthcare providers whenever possible. Health plans often have agreements with specific doctors, hospitals, and clinics, offering discounted service rates. The use of in-network providers will not only save your company money but will also ensure seamless coordination of care for your employees.

Well-informed health plan choices pave the road to employee health and financial well-being. By encouraging employees to select the right plan, embrace preventive care, participate in wellness programs, and leverage cost-saving features, you’ll promote company wellness and set your company on a course to a more secure financial future. 

Remember, the key to health plan savings lies in a proactive and informed approach to wellness, strong collaboration between you and your team, and open communication about which health plan options are best for all parties involved. When employees are well informed about their health plan options, they value their benefits and view their workplace in a more positive light. This can lead to a boost in workplace morale and loyalty, benefiting employees and employers alike. 

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