January 6, 2017
By Florin Selaru
Obamacare Uncertainty Affects Businesses of All Sizes
Obamacare uncertainty is on everybody’s mind. I don’t think anybody can accurately predict just what will happen. Obamacare may be repealed or it may be modified. Either way, these are uncertain times and businesses need to understand how to plan for health care expenses. For medium and large size businesses the need to think cautiously about health insurance is obvious. These businesses contribute significantly towards healthcare insurance premiums at a significant corporate cost. At the other end of the spectrum, small businesses also need to plan their own expenses and identify ways to keep their workforce productive. Last, some small businesses currently offer insurance through Obamacare and this scenario is fraught with the same uncertainties. How to plan for the future? How to ensure that your workforce is healthy, productive and happy with their place of employment?
The Health of Your Workforce Impacts Your Company’s Well Being
The future of Obamacare is uncertain and upcoming changes will most likely affect you in at least one of two ways. First, the cost of healthcare benefits typically comes second only to payroll. Therefore, companies strive to identify ways to improve the quality of the healthcare employees receive while diminishing cost. However, the healthcare space is phenomenally complex and there are relatively few options. As described HERE, Corporate Concierge Health delivers higher health care quality at a lower cost. Second, the human capital represents, arguably, the most valuable corporate asset. If employees are not healthy or missing work to keep their appointments, or not have their medical issues treated promptly (due to poor access and availability of primary care services) – sooner or later the effects on the business will be major. Here, we discuss 2 strategies to improve the health status of your workforce while reducing your corporate cost.
Obamacare Uncertainty – Strategy I – Corporate Concierge Health Provides with Increase Quality of Care at Lower Cost
To improve employee productivity you need to make sure that their health is monitored, promoted and maintained. One of the key ingredients is prompt access to health services for your employees. The concept of Corporate Concierge Health is simple – you contract directly with a primary care clinic to receive primary care, urgent care, pharmacy, lab and other services for your employees. Services contracted generally include primary care, urgent care, occupational health, pharmacy services lab services and others. This strategy works because you obtain healthcare services for your employees at a prepaid, wholesale cost. There is generally no other cost incurred, in particular, no cost associated with utilization of the onsite or near site clinic. Your employees benefit from immediate and high-quality medical services with no copays, no deductibles, no charges to insurance policies (in case high deductibles are a consideration). For more details, see HERE and HERE.
Obamacare Uncertainty – Strategy II – Consider Insurance Alternatives that Provide with Cost Transparency and Accountability
Obamacare and its uncertain future affect all businesses, but fully insured businesses are in particular affected. Therefore, self-funding (and its variants) may be a viable alternative that is independent of Obamacare. Of note, self-funding may be an option for your business, even if you employ less than 50 employees. You should consult with you health insurance consultant or broker to identify the health insurance scenario that works best for your company. While we cannot offer guidance or advice on this topic, if further information is needed, contact us for suggestions of consultants specializing in self-funding.