According to a Kaiser Family Foundation report, more than 25% of adults in the US struggle to keep up with their medical bills. That figure includes employees WITH health insurance. The problem has gotten so bad, that medical debt is now the #1 source of personal bankruptcy filings.
The cost of health care is continually on the rise, so it is important that both the employer and the employee learn how to take steps to cut costs without sacrificing benefits. Both share a common goal: lowering health care costs, but what can each of them do?
Here are a few tips the EMPLOYER can use to help save on health care costs:
- Consumer-Driven Health Plans – incorporate a consumer-driven health plan, such as the BASE® Health Reimbursement Arrangement or any of the options available through the BASE® 125 Cafeteria Plans. An HRA and FSA offer cost-savings for the employer, but also benefits the employees.
- Education – with proper education from the employer, employees can become smarter health care consumers, saving both parties money. Educate employees during Open Enrollment; provide easy-to-understand insurance material, etc.
- Have an Expert Available – Having a company on hand, like BASE®, to implement the right benefits plan for their business, the employer will know that they are receiving the best options and saving the most money.
Here are a few tips the EMPLOYEES can use to help save on health care costs:
- Preventative Care – stay on the healthy track! Take advantage of preventative care such as annual exams or “well baby” checkups. Most, if not all, preventative care is free under all plans in network. These tests can catch health problems early, when they may be more easily treated.
- Take Care of that Body – Choose to create healthy habits – eat right, exercise regularly, stop smoking, just to name a few. Adopting a healthy lifestyle can help save money on prescription drugs and frequent doctor visits due to chronic illnesses.
- Choose the Right Benefits – enroll in a company’s Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) and Flexible Spending Account (FSA). Use the pre-tax money towards health insurance, co-pays, deductibles, prescriptions, dental, and vision. Employees will see an increase in take-home pay and won’t have to worry about setting aside extra money in a savings account on their own.
Don’t get hurt by health care costs. It pays for employers and employees to explore their options for lowering their medical costs, and not just for the actual savings but for the peace of mind that comes with knowing health care wont drive them, or their business, into debt.
With US workers spending $7,685 a year on health care, according to Bank of America’s Workplace Benefits report, finding strategies to reduce health care costs is a worthwhile venture – both for the organization as a whole and the employees who keep it running day in and day out. For more information on how a business can lower their health care costs, call BASE® at 888.386.9680.