By: David Murdock, J.R. Prewitt & Associates Life, Health and Group Benefits Consultant
Increasing healthcare costs impact both employees and employers. In fact, according to The New York Times, high-priced insurance plans are causing middle-class consumers to drop coverage altogether.
As mentioned in my previous blog, medical trends are the cause of these increasing costs. Medical trends are determined by health insurance companies monitoring the costs of visiting a physician, having lab work done and receiving other routine outpatient treatments. Price inflation, increased usage of medical care and services, leveraging effect of fixed deductibles and copays, cost shifting from the uninsured to private payers, government-mandated benefits, and technological advancements also influence medical trends.
In 2017, the average single premium increased 4 percent and the average family premium increased 3 percent, according to 2017 Employer Health Benefits Survey completed by the Kaiser Family Foundation. Plus, most covered workers pay a portion of the cost when they visit an in-network physician. For primary care, 71 percent of covered workers have a co-payment and 22 percent have coinsurance. This year, out-of-pocket maximums rose to $7,350 for self-only coverage and $14,700 for family coverage, which means individuals and families are assuming responsibility for more out-of-pocket healthcare costs
So, how can these increasing costs be offset? At J.R. Prewitt and Associates, we encourage employers to consider secondary insurance as the solution.
By covering medical expenses that are not covered by your primary insurance plan, secondary insurance policies help bear the burdensome out-of-pocket expenses employees encounter. For instance, when visiting the doctor, instead of just putting down your BlueCross BlueShield card, you also put down your Alliance Secondary Insurance card. After all, employees often associate the cost of healthcare with out-of-pocket costs like expensive co-pays and high deductibles, rather than considering their share of the premium.
Alliance Secondary Insurance can be customized to work in conjunction with any primary health insurance provider in the marketplace and is one of the few universally-beneficial benefits that an employer can provide. With supplemental insurance, your organization’s overall health insurance premiums should decrease, and your employees will experience reduced out-of-pocket expenses. Now that’s a win-win solution!
If you’re interested in learning more about secondary insurance, contact me today, and we’ll determine a plan to meet your unique needs.