In general, people tend to trust traditional, established options over newer, alternative ones. But when it comes to choosing health plans, going the traditional route may not be a good idea — for either employees or employers.
Choices in healthcare benefits are among the most critical choices a company can make. Health plans have a huge impact on recruiting efforts, on employee engagement, productivity, and retention — and of course, on the bottom line. For many companies, traditional health plans seem like the trusted, tried-and-true option of choice. Their justification might be something along the lines of, “Yes, they’re quite expensive — but at least there are low-deductible options for people who are relatively healthy and only see the doctor once a year, right?”
Unfortunately, there are too many ways traditional health plans fail to meet their members’ needs, some of which we’ll cover below. In evaluating these, the question to consider is: given the problems with traditional health plans, can employers today afford not to consider alternative health plan options?
Traditional health plans are high in cost, low in benefits
It’s been reported that health benefit costs are now outpacing inflation while increasing four times faster than the overall GDP. Healthcare premiums are soaring — and in the past 10 years the average deductible has increased significantly. Meanwhile, health plan members are being squeezed for every nickel and dime once they hit their deductible. With premiums and deductibles higher than ever, and copays added on top of it, employees can feel like they don’t have real benefits at all.
These high costs become an even bigger issue when thinking about the actual benefits employees are receiving — which are few on average. Typically, around 90% of employers’ healthcare expenditures end up benefiting less than 10% of all employees — regardless of how many employees are enrolled in a plan. Why? It’s because traditional health plans are designed to be a safety net for people when they get ill, instead of being a source of true benefits people can use to maximize their wellness journeys.
For example, a wide variety of alternative health plans offer an abundance of innovative, flexible benefits that help employees take a more proactive role in their health so they can help prevent illness, as well as receive treatment when necessary. In contrast — regardless of insurance provider — traditional health plans look largely the same across the board. Again, they’re set up to serve as a last-minute savior when health is decreasing, rather than an ongoing support in increasing health.
Low consumer satisfaction levels say “it’s time for a change”
It’s not surprising that, in terms of consumer satisfaction, health insurance companies consistently rank at the bottom of the research. In addition to the problems already described, traditional health plans can be nonintuitive and hard to navigate. Members should have an easy, seamless experience in taking advantage of their health benefits, not one that’s confusing and difficult. Can it be any wonder that traditional health plans have such a low perceived value in the marketplace?
This could be why more and more employers and employees are now considering the choice between traditional health plans vs. high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) combined with a health savings account (HSA), which create more flexible and beneficial healthcare options.
Better options are here
There are powerful, modern alternatives to traditional health insurance plans that are changing the health benefits game for employers and employees alike. If you're looking for the best, affordable health plans for 2023, SureCo can help. Our Platform offers 5,000+ plans from over 140 trusted carriers and can help you offer the very best health plan options for employees.