Cutting costs.

Author:Ralph, James, K., Jr.
Position::Health Care

Five tips when shopping around to decrease health insurance premiums:

  1. Add an HMO to a PPO plan as a core plan. Then the employees should be allowed to buy up to the PPO. Adding vision and/or dental coverage can be done as a trade-off in order to increase the deductible on the health plan.

  2. Change your plan from a traditional or major medical plan to a managed care plan. Doing so can potentially save hundreds of dollars in premium costs. Additionally, in the wake of congressional law passed this year, medical reimbursement plans now allow employers to roll over funds in those plans whereas before they had to use it or lose it. This can be a good tool in making higher deductibles more attractive to employees, which will in turn save the employer in premium costs.

  3. Look at medical reimbursement and medical savings plans. Look also for customized discount plans (such as those offered by insurance companies and some local and county governments) that offer the option of self-insurance for prescription drug coverage. Look for an insurance agent who can deliver services, such as plan changes, enrollment issues, claims issues, etc.

  4. Put in place incentives for the use of generic drugs. A recent industry published report pointed out that generic drug use among Blue Cross Blue Shield members has increased 1.2 percent since the fall of 2001. The increase is notably significant because of the previous four years, generic use had steadily declined. According to the Blues, this increase means a yearly savings of rare than $17 million for its members.

  5. Have a high deductible PPO as the core plan, and then allow employees to buy up to other more comprehensive levels as the need is presented. Then they become more in control of managing the spending of dollars for health care.

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    Review the 'ergo-quality' of your office with these simple steps; then consider adding the needed accessories to make your employees' work environment discomfort-free.

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