The learning curve

2024 open enrollment is coming soon

The average employer still offers co-pay and reasonable deductible plans. But that is changing. With the pressure to keep plans affordable to both the employee and the employer, expect some big changes and a steep learning curve in the year ahead.

For example, your primary care provider may not be in next year's network. You may not have a dental and vision plan. Emergency room visits may not be covered until you reach your full deductible. Your prescription may cost hundreds more. The list goes on and on.

To adapt to rising healthcare costs, employers have had to make changes that require the employee to ask more questions and change behaviors. Instead of a co-pay, employees may be given cash to cover care via a prefunded health savings account. This requires using their HSA debit card to pay medical or dental care where pricing is relatively unknown until checkout. Same with getting lab work and imaging services. With the cost of care so high, many employees will blow through any employer contributions in one or two visits.

Many employees will be angry that they have been saddled with decisions they would rather not make. Others will be thrilled that they can finally pay for the care they actually use rather than subsidize the rest of their co-workers. In reality, this newfangled way of doing benefits is getting back to the roots of rewarding lifestyle decisions. There are new pricing tools and employee training that will make a big difference in adoption. Let us show you how.