Is there a Better Healthcare Solution for Your Employees?
February 10, 2020
As every business and household knows, the cost of healthcare is always on the rise. Employers and unions who are seeking to provide more options and get better health outcomes for their employees are turning to direct primary care as the solution to rising costs. This year, according to the Milliman Medical Index, the cost of healthcare for an American family of four covered by an average employer-sponsored preferred provider organization (PPO) plan was an astounding $28,386. To put that into perspective, the median household income in the U.S. is $61,937—nearly 50% of household income goes to healthcare costs! Unfortunately, this also means that many individuals and families don’t have the savings or available funds to get adequate care when they need it.
Health care used to be about getting well, but now the affordability of health care is one of the greatest stressors for working Americans. Employers and Taft-Hartley plans can provide much more value to working Americans while creating healthcare savings for themselves by selecting a solution that engages patients in the care they need that will significantly lower costs.
How Engaging is Your Current Employer-Sponsored Health Plan?
If you want to know if you should consider other health plan options for your employees or union members you only need to ask one question. Can they access really good health care, right now? Accessibility and engagement go hand in hand. A surprising fact is that accessible healthcare can also be cost-effective.
Dollar for dollar, the best spend on improving health is spend on expanding accessibility to full scope primary care.
Currently, access to primary care in most parts of the country is inadequate. Many people do not currently have a primary care physician at all, relying solely on urgent care or hospitals. With the COVID-19 pandemic, urgent care facilities and hospitals are swamped with cases, so they have even less capacity today for providing non-emergency care. On this map, you can see that there is a large portion of the United States that lack primary care options.
As we move forward as a nation, now concerned with our health more than ever, it’s important for employers and unions to give better healthcare options to the families that are counting on them. They can save money and improve lives by partnering with organizations like SolidaritUS Health to provide clinics in underserved areas and offer telemedicine options to make high-value primary care even more accessible to employees.
Is Your Employer-Sponsored Health Plan Adding Needless Cost to Your Business?
In a recent study, 71% of individuals said that they were worried with the rising costs of their health plans. Nearly half of those surveyed reported that their health plan options were a deciding factor in choosing an employer. The percentage is even higher for those deciding to stay on a job because they like their health plan options. It’s clear that healthcare is extremely important to finding talent and retaining valuable employees.
Another cost of inadequate health benefits is employee absenteeism. Illness and injury are some of the most common reasons for absenteeism. Not only will providing employees with better access to healthcare decrease turnover, but it will also reduce overall costs dramatically.
“Conservatively, unscheduled absenteeism costs employers $3,600 per hourly employee per year and $2,650 per salaried employee per year.” – Proactive MD
Employees are clamoring for better health plan options. Access to high-value primary care is the answer, but how can businesses and unions arrange for this type of care and incorporate it into their health plan? They utilize direct primary care.
What is Direct Primary Care?
The direct primary care model has been around for some time. If you are not familiar with it, check out our direct primary care article for an in-depth explanation. At a high-level, however, direct primary care is a healthcare option that provides access to a primary care physician with no patient out-of-pocket costs. Ample evidence shows that when patients engage actively in primary care, which is relatively inexpensive, expensive downstream medical costs fall dramatically. This model is growing rapidly because it gives working Americans and their families access to immediate care they value for things like check-ups, wellness and nutrition, chronic illness management, and much more.
How is This Different from Traditional Primary Care?
Generally, 80-90% of the typical health care needs of a working family can be met in a primary care setting. However, there are so many barriers to getting quality primary care, that patients underutilize it. With traditional primary care:
- Patients still pay co-pays
- Labs and common prescriptions are often an out-of-pocket cost
- Urgent care is often not available
- Waiting room times are longer
- Appointments are shorter
- Physicians are overwhelmed by the ratio of patients to doctors
All together that makes for an extremely impersonal and impractical experience for most working individuals. Direct primary care first focuses on removing the barrier of cost by having no patient out-of-pocket, coinsurance, co-pays, or deductibles.
Doctors are freed from the burden of time and costs associated with billing insurance companies. This way, they can spend virtually all of their time caring for patients, learning their healthcare needs and goals, and partnering with patients to achieve them. In addition, the best direct primary care solutions increase the availability of things like common tests, vaccines, prescriptions, and personalized health guidance by incorporating them into the overall plan.
Why Do People Need Better Primary Care Options?
A staggering study by the West Health Institute and NORC at the University of Chicago showed that between 1/3-1/2 of working-age people between the ages of 45-59 and ¼ of those 60+ went without needed health care due to cost. While cost is one of the largest factors to foregoing health care, fear is another one. Many people don’t have time to build a relationship with their physician, so they feel anxious about asking questions or even seeing a doctor they don’t know or trust.
The third biggest concern and reason why many people choose to avoid going to the doctor, is that they don’t fully understand health risks. With so many people having little to no primary care options available, there is a big gap in education when it comes to health. Things like, “how long should a cold last?” or “what are the long-term impacts of smoking?” are likely not top of mind.
According to the CDC, 7 out 10 deaths in the United States are caused by chronic disease. Although roughly half of the chronic illnesses diagnosed are preventable. Through better access to health care— specifically preventative care and education—individuals can improve life expectancy and avoid catastrophic medical events and diseases.
A Better Health Plan for All
Business and Taft-Hartley trust leaders often consider the impact on health costs as a deciding factor for choosing benefits. We’ve seen firsthand that better access to preventive care and primary care can decrease healthcare costs. Direct primary care provides employees with access to better, more personalized care. Individuals are healthier and happier, creating better outcomes for everyone.
Get To Know SolidaritUS Health Direct Primary Care
We design our health plans with your people and their families in mind, and that is why we provide the best direct primary care solution available. Our custom solutions have demonstrated dramatic savings for employers and individuals while improving overall health.
What are Members Saying?
What Else Does SolidaritUS Provide for Its Members?
All of the following items are built-in to our health plan so members pay no additional or out-of-pocket costs.
- Preventive Care – includes comprehensive physician exams, biometric/blood pressure screenings, depression/anxiety screenings and counseling, and basic vision screening
- Urgent Care
- Telemedicine – with their personal doctor
- Chronic Disease Prevention and Management
- Medication Management
- Personalized Health Action Plans – personalized planning to help patients reach their health goals.
- Nutrition and Fitness Coaching
- Family/Group Health Education Programs
- In-Clinic Treatments and Procedures – includes EKG, spirometry, range of dermatological procedures, nebulizer treatment, basic wound care, etc.
- In-Clinic Blood Draws and Specimen Collection
- 40+ of the Most Common Labs
- Dispense Approx. 40+ Commonly-Prescribed Medications
- And Much More
SolidaritUS has made it possible for businesses of all sizes and types to give their employees access to this level of healthcare. You can contact us today to see how we can build a plan for your business.
Built for Unions Too
Employers aren’t the only ones who are concerned with employee health and providing increased value to their people. Helping union leaders provide superior health care to their members was exactly how SolidaritUS came to life. SolidaritUS is union-owned. The business was built on the same values and principles of caring for members as if they were part of our own family. By working with Spirit Aerosystems and UAW union leaders, we crafted a health plan to meet the needs of employees and their dependents. Member satisfaction is at 4.5 out of 5 and we are proud to be able to provide personalized care to union labor forces.
If you’re seeking to add value to your members and give them better access to personalized healthcare let’s chat.