4 ways employers, employees can save on health care costs


Due to the rising cost of health care, it is important you know the ways you and your employees can save on these expenses.

Many employers today are committed to providing health benefits for their employees. More than half of insurance coverage is employer provided, so finding ways to save you and your employees money on health is crucial.

Check out these four tips to save on health care expenses.

Take advantage of cost transparency tools

Health care costs shouldn’t be a mystery to employees. That’s why health plans like Priority Health provide members the tools and resources they need to research the cost of services before receiving the care. Cost Estimator, for example, allows members to search what in-network facilities and pharmacies charge for services and prescriptions based on each member’s specific plan, rather than a generic estimate, allowing members to “know before they go” and plan ahead most effectively.

Until recently, these types of resources didn’t exist, so many people are unaware of these tools. Encourage your employees to check out the cost tools offered through your health insurance provider — the cost savings can be significant.

Investigate wellness programs

Wellness programs are designed to motivate your employees to improve their health by offering rewards when they achieve predefined goals. Look for wellness programs that meet your company’s needs and can contribute to overall workforce health and productivity, by helping employees get and stay healthy. Some aspects of a wellness program may include online health assessments, healthy habit tracking, nutrition and sleep resources, health coaching, tobacco cessation and biometric screenings. Wellness programs can help your employees achieve better health and potentially have fewer doctor visits.

Visit the doctor virtually

If, and when, employees do need to visit a doctor, encourage them to explore their options for receiving care. Virtual visits are a more convenient option when it comes to a non-emergent need to see a doctor. Used for minor issues such as fevers, cold and flu, sinus infections, allergies and more, a virtual visit is often the most cost-effective option. This service can help employees avoid numerous sick days, get back to work quickly and prevent an illness from getting worse while getting the care they need anytime, anywhere.

Get preventive care

Preventive care often is an included benefit in your health plan. This means the plan pays the cost in full, so it’s free to your employees. Proactive preventive care is integral to staying healthy and ultimately avoiding visits to the doctor. Preventive care includes immunizations like your annual flu shot, physical exams, some lab tests and certain prescriptions. Download the Preventive Health Care Guidelines to see what is considered preventive care or ask your health plan provider.

As an employer, it’s important to make sure that your employees know the tools out there to help them save on health care expenses. Cutting down on things like unnecessary procedures, emergency room visits and illness in general, through tools like Cost Estimator, virtual care and wellness programs, help lower health costs for everyone.

Megan Schmidt is senior vice president of employer solutions at Priority Health and has more than 20 years of health insurance industry experience.

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