What businesses can do to control their group health insurance costs

Posted by Paul on Mar 22, 2012 6:31:00 AM

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When I talk with CEOs or owners about the challenges facing their business, the conversation almost always turns to the increase in their group health insurance costs. And inevitably, the question follows: What can we do to control our company's health care costs?

As author H. L. Mencken once observed, there are no simple solutions to complex problems. This insight is right on target when it comes to the health care system where costs are rising faster than inflation.. But even though there may not be a simple solution, there are strategies that can help you control costs. Here are two that can have a significant impact:

Increase your company's focus on wellness. In a recent blog, I shared some thoughts about the very real dividends that flow from encouraging employees to make healthy choices. In different companies, this can mean different things - from implementing a wellness program to employing strategies that promote safety on the job. An emphasis on wellness is a win-win proposition - increasing employee health and well being while lowering health care costs and raising productivity for employers.

Understand what's out there. There are many different types of health insurance plans, including health maintenance organizations (HMOs), preferred provider organizations (PPOs), health savings accounts (HSAs), health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) and flexible spending arrangements (FSAs). Other options include limited or tiered networks. Tiered health plans group doctors and hospitals in lower-priced and higher-priced categories. Members of the plan are able to choose their doctors, hospitals, and medical service providers, but they pay more for the services of those in higher-priced tiers. One of the advantages employers see in this approach is that it educates their people about health care costs while empowering them to make decisions based on those costs.

The health care arena is complex and constantly changing. So if you have questions about health insurance or other employee benefits, I invite you to talk things over with a Mid-State insurance advisor. We begin by listening to your goals as well as your needs. Then we work with you to select the company, the product, and the options that best fit your needs and your goals. So give us a call and see how our commitment to 'individualized solutions' can pay dividends for your company and your people.

Topics: health insurance, health care, Paul's Blog, employee benefits, Mid-State Insurance

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