Survey of large employers finds:
- 78% will offer medical decision support and second opinion services
- 73% will offer employee advocacy tools for claims assistance
- 60% will offer touch concierge services to help employees navigate the health care system
Devising benefits packages embedding reasonable health insurance is “becoming an integral part of workforce strategy,” according to a survey[i] of large companies. A sub-note of the issue that arose in a press briefing is that fewer employers are expected to offer high-deductible health plans (HDHP) only, or HDHP coupled with just an HSA-type (CDHP) account in 2020.
Options such as telemedicine (described in the survey as “virtual solutions”), and more optional benefits choices were also among ten items listed by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH) survey.
Employers indicated interest in providing what the NBGH termed “social determinants,” meaning consulting employees on matters such as financial planning and budgeting, providing tuition reimbursements, and providing healthy, affordable food options at work.
Within the arena of health insurance, Ellen Kelsay, chief strategy officer for BGH, noted a paradox: employers want to offer more choices while feeling overwhelmed by the choices that already exist.
Sounds like they need an adept broker. Even more of the survey findings indicate the vital role awaiting a broker champion.
The BGH survey expects health care costs to top $15K per employee in 2020. To soften the blow, employers identified three ancillary services aimed at simplifying the consumer experience:
- 78% will offer medical decision support and second opinion services (up from 71% in 2019)
- 73% will offer employee advocacy tools for claims assistance (up from 65%)
- 60% will offer touch concierge services to help employees navigate the health care system (a jump from just 39% the year before)
OptiMed provides a package of value-added services that should satisfy these objectives, which includes telemedicine.
All OptiMed administered products offer the following non-insurance producrts:
- Employee Assistance Program
- Wellness Nurseline
- Discount Drug Card
- COBRA administration
- Section 125 Premium Only Plans
Moving up the coverage ladder (particularly if an HDHP is already in place), OptiMed Gap can ease the HDHP out-of-pocket burden more substantially than an HSA. Extremely customizable, brokers should find a Gap premium to fit any budget.
A wise broker can work with OptiMed's sales staff to devise an optimized Gap program. With OptiMed’s customer care staff primed and poised to insure a smooth enrollment and onging administration.
“We thought we’d have more informed, engaged employees who would know better how to navigate the health system and make smarter choices,” said NBHG’s Kelsay. “But we know that health care is just too complex for employees to navigate.”
Brian Marcott, president and CEO of NBHG, mentioned a function he suspects employers in his group perform routinely. “A lot of employers have tools to help employees decide what plan best fits their needs,” Marcott said.
Keeping in mind that his organization is composed of companies that employ by the thousands, perhaps smaller firms can find a good broker for similar service.
“They can model out what was spent the previous year on health care and give them a sense of which plan may better suited for them based on past health care experience. It doesn’t mean an employee is going to select that but it gives them some information,” explained NBGH’s chief indicated.
OptiMed reps are ready to help too.