For millions of people around the United States, work and home have never been more interconnected. While the pandemic drove many to change their daily work environment—from heading into an office every day to joining virtual meetings from the living room—it also highlighted the demand for new, progressive employer benefits that adapt to evolving employee needs. Considering out-of-pocket health care costs are at the highest they’ve ever been, employees eagerly look for employers who offer a health insurance plan that understands the value of preventive care, or any medical service that protects against the possibility of health emergencies. Preventive health care has the power to transform employee physical, mental, and financial health. Not only do employees benefit from progressive, preventive health plans, but employers can also reap the rewards from improved employee satisfaction.
Fostering a happier and more productive workplace starts with investing in employee health and well-being. By partnering with an insurance company that centers on preventive health care, employers support each of their workers’ well-being in three impactful ways:
Long-term cost savings
Better health outcomes
Reduced medical debt
A key way employers can help keep health care costs low for their business and employees is by investing in preventive care. Many people put off receiving care because they may save money in the short term, but they can experience much higher costs in the long run. Instead of waiting for a disease or condition to pop up, a preventive approach to health care seeks to lessen the likelihood of that illness occurring in the first place.
Currently, four out of the five leading causes of death are chronic illnesses that could be averted or managed with regular access to preventive care:
Chronic lower respiratory disease
People who can access preventive care are more likely to discover chronic conditions and collaborate on a care plan with their doctor to treat these conditions in the early stages, thus saving money on the cost of care for years to come. With 90 percent of the $4.1 trillion in health care expenditures going towards treating chronic and mental health conditions, the potential cost savings with preventive care is undeniable.
Providing a health insurance plan for employees that centers on preventive care sets them up for financial success in the long run. In 2019, health issues pushed 35 percent of retired people into early retirement that they were not financially prepared for. Preventive care can help reduce that number and prepare employees for long-term financial stability.
While you may receive some coverage for care related to chronic conditions, out-of-pocket payments like co-pays, deductibles, and prescriptions, not covered by traditional insurance plans quickly add up. Yet, the costs don’t stop there. Opportunity costs associated with treating acute health conditions can be impactful for patients in all areas of their lives:
Lost income at work due to time off for treatment
Wasted time at appointments
Decreased quality of life
Preventive care works when it’s partnered with a cost-transparent, affordable insurance plan that offers progressive benefits that propel employee health forward. With promising long-term savings outcomes, preventive health care puts more money in your workers’ pockets so they can spend their money on their terms.
Fear of unexpected and undisclosed costs discourages many people from seeking the care they need every day, leading to poor health outcomes in the short and long term.
The type of health insurance plan employees are offered plays an important role in deciding whether or not to go to the doctor. For example, high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) were created thinking they would encourage patients to make “higher-value” health care decisions. However, instead, HDHPs discourage people from seeking care altogether to avoid out-of-pocket spending. Moreover, a 2017 study showed that most people with an HDHP don’t know about cost-sharing exemptions for preventive care under their plan.
Furthermore, high out-of-pocket costs for prescription drugs force many Americans to forgo essential medications. According to a 2022 report by the Kaiser Family Foundation, three in 10 adults say they haven’t taken their medicines as prescribed because of costs. People with chronic conditions are more likely to report difficulty paying for their prescription drugs, leaving millions of patients without the tools they need to improve their health.
Health care affordability issues give small problems the time they need to grow into bigger health issues, driving necessary care even further out of reach. Employers can encourage employees to seek the treatment they need by offering a preventive health care insurance plan that prioritizes cost transparency, so people know what they’ll be paying before they even get a bill. By eliminating the fear of unexpected costs and increasing affordability, employees will have the financial freedom to invest in their well-being, leading to better overall health outcomes and higher employee satisfaction.
Medical expenses are undeniably a huge contributor to household debt for millions of Americans today. According to a 2022 survey from Affordable Health Insurance, 56 percent of adults in the US have medical debt, with 23 percent of those adults owing $10,000 or more. The problem is so severe that 46 percent of people with medical debt report delaying financial goals they set for themselves and their families, such as buying a house. The leading cause of medical debt for respondents? Emergency room visits.
Preventive health care has the power to change those numbers. Because preventive care emphasizes addressing potential illnesses before they become severe (and warrant emergency room visits), this approach to health care significantly reduces medical debt for employees down the line.
When employees are equipped with the tools to better their physical, mental, and financial health, they are happier and more productive in the workplace. Preventive care helps employees avoid the stress and worry that comes along with astronomical medical bills, allowing them to focus their time and energy on their work—not debt.
Because well-being spans home and work life, employee health status is intrinsically linked to business performance and, inevitably, employer success. When employees have no choice but to ignore health concerns due to access and affordability issues, their capacity for work drops and employers face high production costs.
For instance, while depression impacts one in eight employees, only one in 10 people undergo recommended screening to diagnose and treat it. As a result, employees struggle in silence at their workplace, and employers see the effects. Employers pay an average of $17 per employee in disability wage replacement costs for depression, impacting not only personal health outcomes but also business success.
Employers eager to improve employee productivity, engagement, and satisfaction can start by exploring progressive health plans that offer preventive care. At Curative, we offer the best employer-sponsored health insurance in Texas for a reason—we believe employees should focus on care, not costs. In order to build a healthier tomorrow, we have to invest in our health today.
CTA: To find out information about adopting Curative’s plan as a health insurance broker, visit us here.
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Amadeo, K. (2022, 28 October). How preventive care lowers health care costs. The Balance. https://www.thebalancemoney.com/preventive-care-how-it-lowers-aca-costs-3306074
Hamel, L., et al. (2022, 20 October). Public opinion on prescription drugs and their prices. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/public-opinion-on-prescription-drugs-and-their-prices/
Telesford, I., et al. (2023, 7 February). How has U.S. spending on healthcare changed over time? Health System Tracker. https://www.healthsystemtracker.org/chart-collection/u-s-spending-healthcare-changed-time/#Per%20capita%20out-of-pocket%20expenditures,%201970-2021
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