Family premiums have now reached around $2,000 a month. That’s 24k a year. On top of that families typically need to pay $6,000 to $10,000 deductibles. A tremendous amount of money that can leave many households struggling.
We have reached a point where employers, advisors, and many others in the healthcare system need to recognize that this is a problem. We have to say enough is enough.
High costs start with how employers buy health insurance, an expected, mandatory process that, for most, takes place yearly. The renewal process has been created by the insurance companies and has been a forced acceptance that advisors and employers have gone along with, which is the root of what has gotten us into this mess.
We can easily blame hospital facilities for high costs in healthcare, but when we dig a little deeper we can see that insurers agree to pay unwarranted, high prices and continue to raise premiums for their own gain. Using their size or purchasing power to achieve extra profit instead of using that leverage to manage costs, protect health care dollars and produce fair prices.
You can help stop the madness by reconstructing your benefits. Here are some points to consider:
- US healthcare quality is not the highest compared to the rest of the modernized world, despite the fact far more dollars are being spent on healthcare in our country.
- Nonprofit hospitals are actually more profitable than many American companies. These health systems should be lowering their costs and using profits for the people, instead of their gain.
- Insurance companies need to make their quality scores and pricing transparent. Which will introduce market forces into the healthcare system.
- We need brokers to be excellent at their craft. Instead of focusing on their golf game and commissions, we need them to be experts in managing the healthcare supply chain.
- And pharmacy. Together, drug manufacturers, pharmacy benefit managers, and insurers are driving drug prices upward. This complex system has virtually no regulations preventing manufacturers from setting high prices and pharmacy benefit managers from keeping profits from negotiated discounts.
These challenges contribute to the high costs of healthcare today and with continually rising premium rates and some brokers making poor choices for your business, navigating the healthcare system can feel like an uphill battle. But, if you rethink your plan’s design and work with the right people, you can achieve a fair, cost-effective benefit plan.
This can be challenging for some employers because of empty promises from brokers saying they can save money, yet nothing changes. Employers receive the same excuses every year and a strategy to address the issues is never materialized.
Many times short-term rate reductions are offered and seem satisfactory at the time, but those reductions aren’t combined with a long-term strategy to keep the savings. A strategic plan can help you consistently reduce costs, year-after-year, creating positive outcomes without risking employee experience.
You have to have a strategic plan, you can’t just hope for a good renewal rate.
- First, demand a strategic plan from your broker.
- Second, establish a timeline using the strategic plan.
- Third, execute and measure the results.
Premiums reaching 24k a year and deductibles over 6k are hitting families too hard. As employers and advisors, we need to address this problem. We need to deliver functional, affordable health care for our people. This can be done with a strategic plan, but you need to start today.
Let’s do this!!