Lowering the Rising Healthcare Costs for Employers: A Working Solution

Most employers continue to lament the rising healthcare costs across the globe. In fact, various reference materials indicate that employers suffer great losses because of the rise in medical costs for their employees (Buchmueller, Carey, & Levy, 2013). Accordingly, various mechanisms have been sought in efforts to lower the healthcare costs borne by the companies. According to  Christianson, Tu, and Samuel (2011), employer-sponsored insurance has been widely considered an effective way for firms to overcome the employees’ healthcare cost burden. However, as the authors argue, the strategy has not been well exploited but remains to spell out the most effective solution in the future.

As employers come to terms with the systemic and recurrent economic downturns, concerted efforts have been directed toward embracing and effecting health reforms. Previously, many workers adopted consumer-driven health plans, which referred to high deductible plans for premium savings as against the promotion of user engagement (Liu et al., 2013). However, with the frequency of recession periods noted in modern economies, bosses have opted to adopt measures that shift the medical costs to the workforce. In this case, the strategies involve developing and adopting benefit designs that accommodate and emphasize cost-sharing mechanisms. Therefore, consumer-driven health plans keep gaining popularity and are likely to be embraced widely by organizations (Christianson, Tu, & Samuel, 2011). Particularly, various products of self-insurance by employees present the most effective strategies to lower the costs for employers.

However, one would ask why the strategy would have to work. First, it is worth appreciating that the self-insurance programs would be more attractive to the employees and hence easily accepted. Similarly, the employers would seek to support the implementation of the schemes with the long-term motive of lowering the operation costs associated with high medical charges for the staff (Claxton et al., 2013). In essence, it is agreeable with the brief by Christianson and the team that such employer-sponsored health insurance strategies could be exploited effectively to lower medical costs for employers. 

 

References

Buchmueller, T., Carey, C., & Levy, H. G. (2013). Will employers drop health insurance coverage because of the Affordable Care Act? Health Affairs, 32(9), 1522-1530.

Christianson, J. B., Tu, H. T., & Samuel, D. R. (2011). Employer-sponsored health insurance: down but not out. Issue Brief (Center for Studying Health System Change), 137, 1-5.

Claxton, G., Rae, M., Panchal, N., Damico, A., Whitmore, H., Bostick, N., & Kenward, K. (2013). Health benefits in 2013: moderate premium increases in employer-sponsored plans. Health Affairs, 32(9), 1667-1676.

Liu, H., Harris, K. M., Weinberger, S., Serxner, S., Mattke, S., & Exum, E. (2013). Effect of an employer-sponsored health and wellness program on medical cost and utilization. Population health management, 16(1), 1-6.

 

 

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