Category Archives: HealthCare Reform

Want a Zero Deductible Health Care Plan? Here’s How!

deductible stack 300

Shhhh. . . did you hear that?

 

Quietly–maybe even while you were sleeping–a revolution in the insurance industry began to occur early last year. Old ideas were abandoned, new ideas adopted, and new choices came into focus.

Now, I know what you’re thinking: You’ve heard all you can bear about the Affordable Healthcare Act and its wonders. Well, that’s not what this  post is about. It’s something about which you may have never heard a peep.

 

Deductible Insurance.

That’s it, in two words.

Sure, it has a longer name on the marketing materials, and someone stayed up all night to think of what to call it, but we’ll just call it what it is.

Deductible Insurance.

Something new. A new choice for your family protection portfolio, and even more necessary in today’s high deductible landscape. Here’s how it works:

 

Oldway

 

The old way of doing things is lost to the market now–probably forever–but it involved an “up front” approach to healthcare via higher coverage and higher premiums. The deductible was low, and co-pays kept office visits to a predictable cost. Those same premiums, however, never really stopped getting higher and higher each year. Supplemental coverage was difficult to justify with such high cost of coverage.

 

 

 

newway

 

The new way keeps premiums stable–or at least is supposed to–while taking some risk on the back end that we are generally healthy except for unexpected occurrences. That works well for some, but isn’t an accurate picture for everyone. Deductibles soared to share some of the cost (and risk), while the occasional supplemental plan could fill in a gap or two. Overall costs dropped, but only if utilization was low.

 

 

 

The average amounts for workers with an aggregate deductible for family coverage are $1,743 for HMOs, $1,854 for PPOs, $2,821 for POS plans, and $4,079 for HDHP/SOs  -Kaiser Family Foundation 2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey

 

bestway

 

“With great deductibles come great responsibility”. –Spiderman’s Aunt

 Okay, not the actual quote, but it works for this discussion. Medical plan deductibles have been sliding deep into the thousands, with family deductibles often hitting tens of thousands. Whatever the reason, this is the reality most of us face or will be facing soon. The risk is transferred almost completely to the insured for routine illnesses and minor injury incidents, while a scary number looms ahead should there be something requiring real attention.

Enter Deductible Insurance. Call it a hospital buy-down, catastrophic confinement coverage, a safety net. Call it whatever you like, but imagine having your entire personal deductible (up to $3000 per event, per person) paid in cash after a hospital stay. Accident, illness, childbirth, on-the-job injury, whatever the case may be. Your out of pocket may even be eliminated altogether, depending on your health plan and coverage. Coupled with an FSA or HRA (if your employer is that awesome), it gets even better!

Imagine knowing that your bottom line is covered, no matter what happens. With deductible insurance it is possible to have that kind of peace of mind. Relax, it’s covered. There is a better way.

 

Tim

 

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How To Reduce Worker’s Compensation Claims (and premiums!)

Industry surveys and research reports are a dime a dozen, but some are worth their weight in gold. Here’s a nugget for you, and it’s free to claim. No digging required.

 

claim

 

“A recent survey of more than 600 companies has shown a direct correlation between voluntary accident and disability insurance and a reduction is worker’s comp claims.” -Aflac customer survey

 

A reduction in workers comp claims? How? Why? Let’s take a look at the mechanics of it all, from a policy perspective:

Simply put, it’s a matter of personal responsibility, urgency and ownership. We all know that injuries sometimes go unreported until it’s just too late to ignore them. Minor injuries over the weekend that wait until Monday to hit the reality button. Strains and sprains that may not be work related, but get filed anyway because the aggravation presents itself during the work week. Under no circumstances is the employee intending to defraud or mislead, but the claims do occur because we care about doing right by our employee family.

Imagine a different choice exists for your employees, one where injuries–even minor ones–prompt an immediate doctor visit and filing of supplemental benefits that pay cash quickly for the incident. No hoops to jump through, claims are handled efficiently and promptly (in as little as 4 business days), and the employee receives a cash benefit that is free of strings. When a non-occupational injury occurs, the employee is far less likely to wait for treatment or other medical attention. In this scenario, the employer risk is immediately mitigated and any reporting of the injury removes the association with a workplace event. Because these policies pay claims regardless of the initial injury location, and allow for any medical facility to diagnose and provide care, the employee takes the initiative to seek treatment in a timely manner.

No hoops to jump through, claims are processed in as little as 4 days.

All of this has a secondary benefit for the employer, not just lower worker’s comp claims. The employee has extra money in their budget for immediate use if they miss work. Since follow-up with their doctor is encouraged through the comprehensive claims process, their recovery is not cut short by pressing matters of the pocket. We miss them while they’re gone, but they need to be 100% before things are able to return to normal. Should a true short-term disability present itself, they must be certified by a doctor (thus lowering your risk again) before returning to work. Bills can be paid, stress is lower, and life can return to normal faster.

Don’t offer voluntary short term disability or accident coverage in your workplace or local? You can, and there is never any cost to you to offer them. Why not reduce your risk–and your cost–and offer the most requested supplemental benefits to your employee or union local family?

 

– Tim

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