COVID-19 is an unprecedented occurrence that has impacted employer-sponsored healthcare. The best a company can do to be prepared going forward is to learn from every situation. When considering your employee healthcare benefits, there are some important takeaways from COVID-19.
1. Promote preventive care
Healthier people who contracted COVID-19 fared better than people who were immunocompromised. Routine preventive care leads to early detection and even prevention of serious conditions – which not only assures a healthier workforce and better health outcomes, but also avoids costly medical treatments.
2. Tout telehealth
Telehealth – virtual doctor visits via video, phone, or chat – increased by 80% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Continuing to offer a telehealth benefit can lower your healthcare costs by reducing the number of visits to costlier urgent care centers and emergency rooms. Employers can also find long-term savings from telehealth support for preventive care, treatment for chronic conditions, and mental health services.
3. Embrace technology
It’s become clear that anywhere, anytime access to your payroll, accounting, benefits, and eligibility information is a must-have in keeping your employees covered. When these functions work online and in concert, there is no disruption in giving your employees the benefits they deserve. Employees also need a way to access their benefits remotely and remove the burden from your Benefits team.
4. Contain your costs
Lessons from the past – not just from COVID-19 – show that businesses should be prepared for an economic downturn. There are creative ways you can lower your healthcare costs while providing your employees with the same high level of healthcare benefits – such as utilization review, case management programs, site-of-service relocation, and tiered benefit plans that direct your employees to high-value providers. An advantage of self-insured health plans is that you can plan changes mid-year, enabling you to react swiftly to any changes in your situation.
MagnaCare offers a wide range of healthcare benefits products and services that can lower your costs while providing high-quality care. And its award-winning healthcare technology platform streamlines your work while enabling remote access for your admins and employees.
5. Explore alternatives
There are alternatives to PPO plans, such as Consumer-Driven Health Plans (CDHP), which are high deductible plans, and Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) plans. MEC plans fulfill your ACA requirement by giving employees basic coverage. We offer Enhanced MEC plans that include the services your employees want and need.
During the pandemic, some of our clients looked to MEC to cover furloughed workers. You may also want to consider different levels of health benefits for different employee roles, such as MEC plans for certain levels of your workforce such as interns and apprentices, and PPO plans for more permanent roles.
Contact us to discuss how our innovative healthcare enablement solutions can benefit your business.