An annual healthcare poll from Gallup determined that in 2022, almost 40% of Americans skipped or delayed seeking medical care due to cost concerns. These financial concerns can affect employees’ mental and physical well-being, which can also increase absenteeism at work.
Fortunately, there are a few simple ways that employers can reduce out-of-pocket employee healthcare spending. These cost-reduction tips include:
- Encouraging employees to shop around for prescription medications. Many medications have generic and name-brand products offered at different prices. In many cases, the generic drug is offered at a lower cost but with the same effectiveness as its name-brand counterpart. Employees should ask their doctor if a generic medication is right for them. Additionally, employers should advocate for the usage of GoodRx, a free online site that compares drug prices across the United States while also providing discounts. Surprisingly, one medication can be priced differently between pharmacies, so it’s important to see what is available locally.
- Promoting in-network urgent care facilities. Urgent cares can save employees time and money when compared to an emergency room visit. Knowing which local urgent care facilities are in-network ahead of a medical issue can save employees from a costly out-of-network charge. Unfortunately, finding an urgent care that is in-network is not always a straightforward process. Luckily, the Creative Benefits, Inc. ESR team is trained and happy to help employees determine which providers and facilities are available.
- Highlighting the convenience of telehealth services. Many health plans offer access to telehealth. Since COVID-19, telehealth services have exponentially increased in popularity, making remote care more accessible. Employees typically have a finite window of time in a workday to attend to their or a family member’s health. By utilizing telehealth, employees can receive the care they need without missing vital work time while still catering to their health needs.
With inflation and rising out-of-pocket healthcare costs, it’s important that employees view their employers as advocates in accessing necessary and cost-effective healthcare.