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Deferred Medical Care and Mitigating Costs

Deferred Medical Care and Mitigating Costs

4 minute read

During 2020 and 2021, approximately 41% of people deferred medical care due to concerns related to the pandemic, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Now, many individuals are starting to address their deferred care.

Employers are being forced to respond to the surge in employee health care usage, but employers’ health plans may not deal with employee’s delayed care in a cost-effective manner. By implementing strategies to address deferred care, employers can prepare for increased future health care costs.

 

Guide Employees to Cost-Effective Care

Employers can help employees minimize deferred medical costs by guiding employees towards cost-effective care options. For example, an employer could educate employees about in-network vs. out-of-network costs. Another example is directing employees to cost-effective outpatient care facilities or inpatient care options for procedures and imaging, instead of going to the hospital which may be more expensive.

 

Improve Employee Health Care Literacy

Helping employees increase their health care knowledge can help employers reduce the cost of deferred medical care. Better educated employees will most likely make better choices, thus reducing costs.

Benefit portals can provide employees with information including plan options, forms, health resources, etc. Education efforts should be done year-round instead of only during open enrollment. This can be done by providing emails, videos, workshops, webinars, or flyers.

Employers can also encourage employees to stay healthy. By incentivizing employees to eat healthy, stay active, reduce stress, and visit the doctor regularly, employers can help employees decrease their medical needs and improve their overall well-being.

 

Leverage Technology

Employers can leverage technology to reduce the costs of deferred medical care. Technology allows employees easy access to review and access their benefits, helping them become more educated on their offerings and making better, cost-saving choices.

Telemedicine is an accessible and affordable way to treat individuals by offering flexible and cost-effective care. It can provide faster and more frequent care, which can help employees stay healthy and reduce costs. Other technology options may include virtual health program, chronic condition apps, and digital physical therapy solutions for employees.

 

Expand Second Opinion Access

Second opinions can be an effective tool for reducing health care costs, but employees rarely seek them out. They can improve an employee’s care and health outcomes by decreasing overall medical expenses by reducing overtreatment and misdiagnosis.

By providing employees with access to a large network of top experts and specialist, employers can incentivize employees to get second opinions, drastically improving health outcomes, and in some instances, saving lives.

Employees who have access to a large network of the best available care may not only be healthier but also happier and more loyal to their employer.

 

Conclusion

Savvy employers may want to implement effective strategies now to prepare for and address employees’ delayed care. Doing so may allow employers to rein in rising health care costs and keep employees healthy and safe. Those employers who proactively implement strategies to address these needs will be better positioned to meet employee needs and be prepared for unforeseen challenges.

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This blog is intended to be a compilation of information and resources pulled from federal, state, and local agencies. This is not intended to be legal advice. For up to the minute information and guidance on COVID-19, please follow the guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and your local health organizations.

National Insurance Services is not a law firm and no opinion, suggestion, or recommendation of the firm or its employees shall constitute legal advice. Readers are advised to consult with their own attorney for a determination of their legal rights, responsibilities and liabilities, including the interpretation of any statute or regulation, or its application to the readers’ business activities.

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Nicole Miller

Nicole Miller

When it comes to employee benefits, Nicole Miller is a good person to have on your side. She’s worked in the insurance industry since 2004 and has experience working on both the insurance carrier/agency side. Her customers find her to be dependable, detail-oriented, and highly skilled at simplifying the complex. As Account Manager for National Insurance Services, Nicole works with Michigan schools, cities, and counties on their employee benefits, benefit communication, and wellness plans. She helps employees and employers answer policy-related questions, resolve employee claim issues with carriers, and assists with employee or insurance committee meetings. Nicole is a licensed insurance agent.