Mary B. skipped appointments and delayed chemotherapy when her cancer returned. Steven L. reduces refills by taking his thyroid medication every other day instead of daily. Others cancel needed care because they can’t afford time off from work and the additional costs of childcare and transportation.
According to a Gallup poll, inflation, financial uncertainty, rising deductibles, and excessive out-of-pocket expenses drove 38% of Americans to put off health care in 2022, up from 26% in 2021. Even more concerning is that 27% of those patients delayed medical treatment for very or somewhat serious conditions.
As one doctor observed in The New York Times, “We’re seeing an uptick in patients canceling” procedures and preventive care because of cost. “You have a finite number of dollars to spend on your family.” When you’re worried about having enough food or stable housing, “at that moment, you’re not thinking of preventing something five years from now.”
This trend does not bode well for building a healthy workforce… physically or financially.
The Advantages of a Modern Health Plan
Removing financial barriers is one of the most powerful ways employers can help plan members manage immediate health concerns and address risks before they become bigger and more costly. This can be achieved by ending overspending with a modern health plan that’s fully aligned with the best interests of employers and their people.
A modern health plan uses advanced medical and pharmacy cost controls to lower plan costs and has features that reduce or eliminate employee out-of-pocket expense. Plan sponsors have options today that make it easy to provide better coverage at a lower cost with advantages like:
- 30% savings on medical and pharmacy claims
- Lower employee payroll contributions, copays, and deductibles
- No balance billing liability for members
- Free telemedicine for physical and mental health care
- Free specialty medications
- Free hospital financial assistance for member cost share
- Free surgeries
Legacy insurance carriers will only increase health plan costs and force more cost shifting to employees and their families, fueling further financial distress and medical debt. It’s time to replace legacy BUCA plans with a modern plan that prioritizes people over profits.