It’s no secret that the US health care system is complicated. The complex, multi-layered industry means that for employees across the country, seeking care doesn’t just involve a trip to the doctor’s office. It also includes a significant amount of time and energy researching whether or not their insurance plan covers the visit and treatment they receive. Many employers can serve as the middleman to answer questions on behalf of health plans and encourage their employees to seek preventive care that can keep their health costs lower.
For many employees, figuring out where to find medical care isn’t the problem: it’s understanding how their plan works. According to a 2021 survey, over 90 percent of people feel at least somewhat confident accessing health care services. Yet, 56 percent — over half of all respondents—feel “completely lost” while trying to understand health insurance. The lack of price and coverage transparency often results in putting off necessary care. Nearly two-thirds of Americans report delaying care to avoid surprise medical bills because they are unclear on what their plan covers. Avoiding medical care, especially routine preventive care services has consequences that extend beyond the individual and impact employers as well.
The best health insurance companies recognize the importance of having built-in support for members, easing the challenge employers face with ensuring all employees know how to navigate their health plans. Most human resource departments do their best to make sure employees understand their health plans but having the support and expertise of an advisor within the health plan can give a much higher level of customer care.
From the moment they become a member of Curative, employees can sign up for their free Baseline Visit, where they meet their designated Care Navigator. Members know their Care Navigator by name and can text, call, and email them for help and guidance throughout their health journey with Curative’s health plan. Many of our Care Navigators are bilingual.
Partnering with Curative means you and your employees can focus on care, not costs. A dedicated, go-to support expert who knows their health plan inside and out helps your employees stay healthy, happy, and productive at work. Curative Care Navigators help employers save money in five key ways:
Connecting employees to the care they need, when they need it
Finding the right place for care
Enhancing health literacy to improve health outcomes
Incentivizing preventive care
Allowing employees to focus on work
From struggling to decipher which providers are in or out-of-network to how much copays will be, employers face unnecessary — and avoidable — financial burdens when employees delay care because of overly complicated plans.
Americans are putting off various types of medical care in record numbers, including care for serious conditions and preventive care. Preventive care is especially vital for employers, as these services help employees catch illnesses early on before they become severe. Delaying care leads to more negative health outcomes, inpatient stays, and emergency room visits that simultaneously equate to absences from work. But when employees can’t seek care because of the confusing language many health insurance companies use, how can employers help?
Employers must offer a plan that avoids convoluted jargon and truly values the member experience. That’s where Curative comes in.
When employees complete their Baseline Visit with Curative, they’ll meet their Care Navigators. Care Navigators are there from the beginning to ensure members get high-quality health care when they need it. These experts:
Guide members to the right in-network provider
Assist in scheduling virtual and in-person appointments
Help members avoid long wait times to speak to health care professionals
Provide education on preventive care vs. more serious care services under the health plan
With their Care Navigator's support, employees can take full advantage of their health plans and full control of their health journeys. Members leave their Baseline Visits with a sheet detailing the closest recommended in-network providers and facilities, equipped with the knowledge they need to seek care immediately.
By offering a transparent, comprehensive insurance plan with preventive care coverage, employers reap the rewards of healthier employees through improved physical, mental, emotional, and social well-being.
Every year, our health system spends an estimated $8.3 billion caring for patients in the emergency room (ER) who didn’t have to be there. Maybe the reason they went to the ER could have been treated by their primary care physician (PCP), or perhaps their issue was not an actual emergency.
Often, patients end up at the ER when PCP input or an urgent care appointment could suffice, resulting in preventable ER visits.
The overuse of and overreliance on the ER as a source of care services, especially for preventive care services, can have significant consequences that impact not only the health of your employees but also our health system as a whole:
Unnecessarily high costs for services
Gaps in care coordination
Inadequate provision of preventive care
At Curative, your employees won’t be left in the cold when looking for the right place to go for their health needs. Curative Care Navigators help employees find the best place to go for health services, like 24/7 telehealth and urgent care for problems that may otherwise drive people to visit the ER. Ensuring employees have access to care outside of the ER contributes to better individual health outcomes while also helping health care professionals in the ER focus on true emergencies.
Care Navigators help save employers money on health care costs by increasing each member’s health literacy. Defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as “the degree to which individuals have the ability to find, understand, and use information and services to inform health-related decisions and actions for themselves and others,” personal health literacy has the power to significantly improve people’s health outcomes through education. While health literacy encourages people to take on an active role in their health journeys, it reaches beyond the individual. Health literacy extends to the workplace, meaning employers are responsible for ensuring they have strong organizational health literacy by investing in health education and resources that promote health equity.
Employers should think of health literacy as an asset. By educating employees on topics like preventive care services, mental health awareness, and healthy living, companies establish a positive health culture in the workplace that could help save thousands in health costs.
Care Navigators understand the barriers to accessibility, which is why each Care Navigator walks members through their Curative member portal step-by-step to ensure they understand how to utilize their health plan. Care Navigators improve health literacy by helping members:
Learn all about their health plan
Access 24/7, 365 telemedicine, and in-network care
Transfer prescriptions to an in-network pharmacy
Connect with programs that move members closer to reaching their health goals
Strong levels of health literacy move us all closer to health equity or attaining the highest level of health for all people. Offering Curative’s health plan to employees is a step in the right direction to strengthen health literacy in your workplace.
Preventive care is integral to helping employees maintain their health and vitality. Preventive health care is an umbrella term for a set of routine services that aim to identify potential health issues before symptoms develop. These services include:
Screenings for conditions (cancer, diabetes, and heart disease)
Preventive counseling for healthy lifestyles (manage a chronic illness, quit smoking, lose weight, screen for mental health conditions)
Despite its importance, only 8 percent of Americans 35 years and up receive recommended preventive care. A recent study showed nearly 45 percent of respondents didn’t know they should visit their doctor for routine screenings, annual check-ups, and non-COVID vaccinations. Additionally, they didn’t know insurance provides coverage for preventive care.
Understanding what preventive care services are and how to access them shouldn’t be a mystery. In offering an innovative health insurance option that incentivizes these services, employers curate a work environment that motivates employees to stay on top of their well-being. When a new member joins Curative, their Care Navigator assists in enrolling them in all the new benefits that come with their plan. For example, under the Curative plan, members can join health management programs like WeightWatchers. After their Baseline Visit, Members can also access preventive care services through a large network of outside providers.
When workers have no choice but to show up to their jobs sick because they are struggling to access care under their health plan, companies suffer. The act of coming to work but being less productive is known as presenteeism, while absenteeism involves staying away from work altogether. Unaddressed health ailments increase presenteeism and absenteeism, but it doesn’t mean employees choose to ignore their health. Lack of time, fear of surprise medical bills, and inaccessible prescription costs contribute to higher rates of presenteeism that cause businesses to incur high indirect costs.
Navigating health insurance doesn’t have to be a stressful, time-consuming experience. Curative Care Navigators simplify the process by helping members search for the best in-network provider that fits their needs. With a Care Navigator, information that might normally take someone hours to find is accessed in minutes. According to a Stanford study, American employees spent a grand total of 12 million hours a week at work in 2019 talking to their health insurance provider, resulting in $26 billion in wages lost due to unproductive time spent navigating their health plans. The amount of time savings Care Navigators provide for members means your employees can focus on work, at work.
Employees notice when employers truly care about their health and well-being. By partnering with a health insurance company that prioritizes preventive care and full transparency, businesses save money on health care costs while simultaneously fostering positive work environments where employees and businesses can thrive.
Curative wants people to love using their health benefits. Our health plan actually delivers better health through affordability, engagement, and simplicity.
No copays. No deductibles. No...really. Curative is changing the way we view health insurance.
Find out more about how Curative’s dedication to preventive care enhances employee health and financially benefits employers on our homepage.
To see all disclaimers, please view here.
Americans spend 12M hours a week on the phone with health insurers. (18 Oct 2021). Becker’s Healthcare. https://www.beckerspayer.com/payer/americans-spend-12m-hours-a-week-on-the-phone-with-health-insurers
Andrews, E. The Staggering Costs of Health Insurance “Sludge.” (23 Feb 2021). Stanford Graduate School of Business. https://www.beckerspayer.com/payer/americans-spend-12m-hours-a-week-on-the-phone-with-health-insurers
Brenan, M. Record high in U.S. put off medical care due to cost in 2022. (17 Jan 2023). Gallup. https://news.gallup.com/poll/468053/record-high-put-off-medical-care-due-cost-2022.aspx?utm_source=alert&utm_medium=email&utm_content=morelink&utm_campaign=syndication
Gordon, D. Health insurance confusion continues to plague Americans, new data show. (8 Feb 2021). Forbes. https://www.forbes.com/sites/debgordon/2021/02/08/health-insurance-confusion-continues-to-plague-americans-new-data-show/
Health promotion: The mandate for health literacy. World Health Organization. Retrieved 1 May 2023. https://www.who.int/teams/health-promotion/enhanced-well-being/ninth-global-conference/health-literacy
The importance of preventive care to employee well-being—and how to help. (9 May 2021). The WellRight Blog. https://www.wellright.com/blog/importance-preventive-care-employee-well-being
Maeng, D., et al. Patterns of multiple emergency department visits: Do primary care / physicians matter? Perm J. 21 (2017). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5363893/#:~:text=Overutilization%20and%20overreliance%20on%20Emergency,inadequate%20provision%20of%20preventive%20care.
More than half of Americans confused by health insurance, including HSAs. (3 Feb 2021). Bend. https://www.bendhsa.com/newsroom/more-than-half-of-americans-confused-by-health-insurance-including-hsas
Mulrooney, L. Reducing “avoidable” ED visits for mental health could cut billions in costs, improve patient outcomes. AJMC. (13 Dec 2022). https://www.ajmc.com/view/reducing-avoidable-ed-visits-for-mental-health-could-cut-billions-in-costs-improve-patient-outcomes
Ratnapradipa, K.L., et al. Factors associated with delaying medical care: cross-sectional study of Nebraska adults. BMC Health Serv Res 23, 118 (2023). https://bmchealthservres.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12913-023-09140-0
Shoemaker, S. WeightWatchers diet review: Does it work for weight loss? (2 Feb 2023).Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/weight-watchers-diet-review
Smith, K.T., et al. Access is necessary but not sufficient: Factors influencing delay and avoidance of health care services. MDM Policy Pract. 3, 1 (2018). https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6125037/
What is health literacy? (31 March 2023). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/healthliteracy/learn/index.html
Wisner, W. What is preventive health and why is it important? (7 Feb 2023). Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/what-is-preventive-health-and-why-is-it-important#tests-screenings-services