Health careWe are in the midst of significant change in the world of health care. In response to rising health care costs, more companies are shifting more financial responsibility to employees through consumer directed health care plans. However, 40 percent of employees don’t understand their health care benefits, according to SHRM’s 2014 Employee Benefits Report. Individuals’ increased health care responsibility is affecting employee finances, morale, engagement and productivity.  

Mastering the ABCs of Reducing Employees’ Health Costs

We are in the midst of significant change in the world of health care. In response to rising health care costs, more companies are shifting more financial responsibility to employees through consumer directed health care plans. However, 40 percent of employees don’t understand their health care benefits, according to SHRM’s 2014 Employee Benefits Report. Individuals’ increased health care responsibility is affecting employee finances, morale, engagement and productivity.

“With the complexities of today’s health care environment, many employees feel stressed and frustrated about their health care options. Employees are looking for someone to turn to for health and wellness related support. Organizations like Ceridian LifeWorks can help. By providing health and wellness resources, LifeWorks gives employees the knowledge and confidence to make wise, savvy health decisions,” said Jennifer Piliero, senior product manager of Ceridian LifeWorks.

Employees need health supporters willing to invest time and resources into helping them reduce their health care expenses. Read on to learn the ABCs of helping employees save valuable time and money by creating a culture of health awareness.

Address Health Issues Early

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In an attempt to encourage employees to be health conscious, 54 percent of organizations require employees to complete a health risk assessment each year[i]. While the majority of employees don’t do much with this information, health-focused organizations compare results year over year to identify individuals’ health trends.

While employees may be healthy today, most people are trending toward at least one health issue. By helping employees monitor their health numbers, companies provide them tools to positively influence their health trajectory. Early intervention can save employees significant money by addressing issues before they become a major problem.

Boost Smart Health Decisions

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Once employees become aware of their health trends, they must then take ownership of their health. Teach employees to be active health care participants who think critically about suggested treatments and are accountable for treating their health issues.

During open enrollment, provide employees with plan advisors and cost calculators that help them consider the risks and benefits of each plan. By offering health support to employees, you can help individuals be better health care consumers year round, not just during open enrollment. Additionally, regularly remind employees of the health basics, including eating right, exercising, getting enough sleep and effectively handling stress. Employees who make smart health decisions will likely see their doctor less, which will lower out-of-pocket expenses for the current year and for years to come.

Curtail Unnecessary Medical Expenses

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Regardless of how healthy they may be, employees must protect themselves from unnecessary medical expenses. Costs in the world of health care are often ambiguous and hidden from patients. Prices for standard treatments, like an MRI, can vary by hundreds of dollars because patients have no way to compare costs. Encourage employees to be savvy medical consumers who go to in-network providers, shop around for treatment costs and avoid unnecessary treatments. Additionally, educate employees about the rising costs of prescription drugs and teach them the benefits of asking for generic drugs.

The rising cost of health care has a ripple effect that impacts both employees and their employers. By providing employees the tools and knowledge to combat rising medical costs, organizations can help minimize employees’ medical expenses while maximizing their physical, emotional and financial well-being.

For more information:

  • View our Pharmacy Benefits Management infographic.
  • Watch Ceridian’s Three Strategies for Reducing Health Care Costs webinar
  • Learn more about Ceridian LifeWorks

 

[i] 2013 Reshaping Health Care Report, Towers Watson