Benefits Blog: Five Ways to Save on Healthcare Costs

It’s no secret that healthcare expenses have been on a steady, and costly, climb for the past two decades.  Price hikes of 6.5 percent are projected in 2022, with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic playing a significant role in those increases.  This fact of financial life means employers must think both strategically and creatively about how to lower their health benefits expenses in 2022.  Here are five ways to help achieve savings:

  1. Control Drug Spending – Drug prices rise faster than any other medical service or commodity, with costs now 33 percent higher than in 2014, according to GoodRx.  Employers can educate employees on the price differences between name-brand and generic medications, and encourage using generics to save money while still receiving the same quality treatment.
  2. Encourage Active Benefits Participation – This includes encouraging employees to improve their health literacy, research treatments, and price shop.  By seeing specific prices for procedures and other services, employees can educate themselves before making costly health decisions.
  3. Offer Savings Accounts with Carryovers – Health savings accounts (HSAs), flexible savings accounts (FSAs), and other tax-advantaged savings account options empower employees to control their own spending and improve their health literacy.  Many accounts allow for fund carryover year to year, encouraging more contributions. Since many employers match contributions up to a limit, more money added to these accounts means greater tax savings for everyone.
  4. Embrace Virtual Health Options – A major takeaway from the pandemic has been the expansion of telehealth services, allowing individuals to connect with health professionals quickly, safely, and less expensively.  Employers adding telehealth services into their plan expand access to care and lower expenses for everyone.
  5. Consider Plan Funding Alternatives – A more drastic option for reducing health costs is restructuring how plans are funded.  For instance, a self-funded plan may be more cost- effective than paying a monthly premium for a fully insured plan.  Other options include level-funding or reference-based pricing models, each of which carries its own set of administrative rules and legal constraints.  Funding decisions should not be taken lightly and should be based on several factors, such as size of an organization, risk tolerance, and financial stability, including employees’ ability to take on large premium increases.

Selecting the best methods to contain healthcare costs depends on each organization’s unique capabilities.  The Benefits Team at The Reschini Group can help sort out the right option for your particular situation. Contact us today to get a conversation started.


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Know Your Benefits: Strategies for Saving on Prescription Drugs

Copyright 2022 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

Benefits Blog: Be a Smart Health Care Consumer

They used to say there were only two sure things in life – death and taxes.  But another sure thing could be added today – rising health care costs.

That makes it imperative for every individual to become a smarter consumer of health care, by taking charge of your care and coverage, asking more questions, and doing more independent research.  Here are some specific steps:

Control out-of-pocket health care costs by carefully reviewing your health insurance plan options and selecting the ones that best meet the needs of you and your family.  Those needing more chronic care and medications may want to choose a lower deductible plan, while those younger and healthier needing less care could potentially get by with a higher deductible option.

Assert your rights as a patient and ask more questions of your doctor and pharmacist, such as:

  • Why is this treatment necessary?
  • How much will this treatment cost?
  • Are there equally effective options that cost less?
  • What is the current procedural terminology (CRT) code for this treatment, so that I can comparison shop my options?
  • How can I improve my condition?
  • Why are you suggesting this specific dosage?
  • Is this prescription on my insurance plan’s approved list, or is this a specialty drug?
  • Can you recommend a lower-cost or generic substitute?

Make every effort to choose in-network doctors when possible.  Health care providers within your plan’s network typically cost less than those out-of-network.  When selecting a plan, make sure your preferred doctors and hospitals are within the plan’s approved network.

Seek outpatient care when available, without sacrificing quality of care.  By avoiding being admitted to the hospital, the cost of your care goes down significantly.  Only select an outpatient option when the proper level of care can still be provided.

For more information on becoming a smarter health care consumer, contact the Benefits team at The Reschini Group today.

Download these resources about reducing health care costs:

How to Lower Health Care Costs Take Action – Preventive Care and Your Health Care Costs Take Action – Shop Around for Health Care

Copyright 2021 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.

Clearing the Air: The Value of Smoking Cessation Programs

Many employers may not realize the full cost that employee smoking incurs to their company. Smokers are much more likely to develop serious chronic medical conditions, visit the doctor more often, be absent from work with an illness, or have a short- or long-term disability—all of which are very costly to an employer’s health plan and productivity.

In fact, smokers cost private employers in the United States an extra $5,816 per year compared to nonsmokers, according to researchers at Ohio State University. Of that amount, $3,077 comes from smoking breaks, since smokers, on average, take approximately five breaks a day compared to the three breaks reserved for most workers. Excess health care expenses account for $2,056, and the remaining costs are due to increased absenteeism and lost productivity.  Implementing a smoking cessation program and incorporating benefits into your health plan can lower the number of employees who smoke and dramatically affect your bottom line now and in the future.

Studies have shown that employees are much more likely to quit when smoking cessation resources are included as paid benefits in their health plan. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has stated that smoking cessation therapy is the most cost-effective health benefit that employers can offer.

Other strategies offered through an employer health plan and in the workplace to help promote smoking cessation include:

  • Establish smoke-free policies throughout your workplace
  • Incentive programs for employees who quit and stay smoke-free
  • Flexible spending program to reimburse smoking cessation counseling and 
prescription drugs (if your plan does not cover these items)
  • On-site counseling options (or counseling referrals)
  • Employee communications for education, promoting your program, and 
encouragement for those quitting
  • Participating in special events, such as the Great American Smokeout
  • Health risk assessments to identify employee smokers
  • Develop other creative ways to offer personal support and encouragement in 
the workplace for employees who are quitting
  • Consider including spouses and dependents in your smoking cessation 

The Benefits team at The Reschini Group can help you fashion a smoking cessation Program for your particular situation.  Contact us to learn more.

Copyright 2019 The Reschini Group

The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice.  To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.