Telemedicine Taking Off, Reducing Health Costs

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

One of the fastest-growing parts of the health care system, and which touches significantly on group health plans, is telemedicine. From 2016 to 2017, insurance claims for services rendered via telehealth ― as a percentage of all medical claim lines ― grew 53% nationally, faster than any other avenue of care, according to “FH Health Indicators,” a white paper published by the nonprofit FAIR Health. What is telemedicine Telemedicine, also called Telehealth, uses technology to provide remote care via video conferencing and other means, and is proving to be more and more effective, especially for time-pressed individuals or people who…
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Compliance Checklist for Your Group Plan

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As open enrollment 2020 is just around the corner, there are a few things that employers with group plans should know so they can work with us to take any necessary actions. As always, new rules are taking effect and some employers’ plans will be more affected than others. In addition, if you’ve made changes to your plans in any way, you should read this to make sure your plan is compliant with relevant laws and regulations. ACA health provider fee When the Affordable Care Act was signed into law it contained provisions to collect a 2.5% “health provider fee”…
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Employers Double Down on Employee Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

As the job market tightens and competition for workers becomes fiercer, a majority of employers are boosting their employee benefits offerings and are paying less attention to reducing associated costs, according to a new study. The changes reflect the shifting priorities of the workforce and the newest generation to enter the job market. The challenge for employers is controlling benefit costs, while at the same time being able to attract and retain talent as competition for workers increases. The “2018 Benefits Strategy & Benchmarking Survey” by Gallagher Benefits found that U.S. employers were most concerned with: Attracting and retaining talent….
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Telemedicine Improves Outcomes, Saves Money

| posted in Blog

Recent studies have shown that telemedicine can yield significant savings for group health plans and covered employees – but only if the employees actually use it. While telemedicine has penetrated the ranks of large employers (96% say they make it available to their employees), 20% of employers say that less than one-tenth of their workers actually use it. The main thrust of telemedicine is to give workers the option to talk to a health care provider over the phone or by video link about a health issue they may be having. Maybe waiting for an appointment slot to open with…
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Five Ways Employers Can Save on Health Care Costs

| posted in Blog

In recent years, many companies have been dealing with rising health care costs largely by transferring more of the expense and risk on to their employees. But some employers have found smarter, more creative ways to limit health costs without further burdening valued employees. Here are some of the best solutions: 1.) Pharmacy benefit managers. Pharmacy benefit managers are independent third party administrators who work with pharmacists, employers and workers to reduce costs and inefficiencies. For example, they may help workers migrate from expensive brand name drugs to equally effective generics for a fraction of the cost. Or they may…
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Employers Seek New Ways to Reduce Health Insurance Inflation

| posted in Blog

As employers anticipate that their employee health insurance costs will rise 5.5% for the 2018 policy year, they are also planning to step up their cost management efforts in new areas, according to a new study. And despite the maelstrom in Washington over how to deal with the Affordable Care Act, 92% of employers surveyed said they are “very confident” their organization will continue to sponsor health benefits in five years, according to the “Willis Towers Watson 2017 Health Care Employer Survey.” Employers will try to contain costs by exploring new strategies like emerging health care delivery systems, and arrangements…
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Telemedicine Can Reduce Premium Costs, Save Time

| posted in Blog

MORE AND more health plans and employers are embracing telemedicine as part of their health insurance offerings, in order to help enrollees who may live far from their doctor – and to save money. A 2014 study by the consulting firm Deloitte calculated that there would be 75 million virtual doctor visits in Northern America that year, and another survey by Towers Watson in the same year found that 37% of employers planned to offer their workers telemedicine consultations in 2015 – with another 34% planning to do so by 2017. More private insurers are paying for telehealth services, a…
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