In the expensive and confusing world of health care, any amount of insight or savings can go a long way. Consumer driven health plans are under-utilized tools that offer both savings and insight to help employees, employers and insurance brokers save money and increase trust.
Here are the top 4 ways consumer driven health plans help everyone:
1. Saves Employees Money
Services like LowestMed offer free easy-to-use tools for employees to compare Rx prices across a variety of pharmacy locations, in order to find a drug at the most affordable price. In addition to comparing prices, these discount services offer drug coupons that may be presented for additional savings. The discounted prices from these coupons can even be lower than insurance prices.
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Consumer driven health plans help employees reduce their out-of-pocket spending, which can be a trigger of major stress. For example, Alfac reported that, in 2016, 65 percent of employees had less the $1,000 to cover out-of-pocket medical expenses. Discount services help employees save on drug prices, easing the stress and strain of out-of-pocket spending.
2. Saves Money for Employers
Consumer driven health plans and drug price transparency service, such as LowestMed, provides out-of-pocket savings that make high deductible plans more manageable. It increases the likelihood that employees will be more accepting when presented with them.
High deductible plans are cost-saving for employers, because they aren’t responsible to cover all the employee’s healthcare expenses, mainly due to the deductible period. This is a reason why many companies are beginning to only offer high deductible plans.
People on high deductible health plans are encouraged to begin building a Health Savings Account (HSA). HSA’s are meant to help people on high deductible and other plans better manage their health expenses.
More than 80 percent of non-chronically ill individuals don’t spend enough out-of-pocket to hit their deductible.
The problem, as previously mentioned, is that high deductible plans often result in higher out-of-pocket spending for employees. Furthermore, the American Action Forum stated that, in any given year, more than 80 percent of non-chronically ill individuals don’t spend enough out-of-pocket to hit their deductible. This means employees prescribed maintenance drugs will have to pay the total out-of-pocket cost for prescriptions, as well as other healthcare expenses. This is the case until they hit their deductible and out-of-pocket max.
High out-of-pocket expenses, combined with the low probability of hitting a deductible, are reasons why employees are reluctant when employers presents them with a high deductible plan.
By offering employees a consumer driven health plan, like LowestMed, employers are providing them with a great way to save money on their medications.
3. Offers Additional Benefits
Consumer driven health plans, like prescription discount services, can offer certain benefits outside of insurance. One in particular is that they are not restricted by drug formularies. What is drug formulary? Drug formularies are lists of certain medications that are covered by a healthcare provider or insurance. If a medication is excluded from the health insurance’s drug formulary, they won’t help cover the costs until the employee’s deductible and out-of-pocket max are met. LowestMed and other prescription discount services aren’t bound by these lists and can provide discounts for any FDA approved drug.
Employees using discount services are given more options and freedom in their medication search, which often results in lower prices.
Drug formularies have other restrictions such as:
- Prior Authorization: The employee’s insurer must give permission to the employee’s doctor, in order to prescribe a specific drug
- Step Therapy: In some cases, the employee must first try a lower-cost version of the drug, before being able to use higher-cost and often newer versions
4. Boosts Broker’s Reputation
Consumer driven health plans are designed to be innovative solutions to high drug and medical-related price problems. Brokers that inform their clients about these solutions are seen as innovative problem solvers. By taking the time to learn about alternative savings, such as prescription discount services, brokers are showing a higher level of investment toward their clients’ well-being. Not only do brokers seem more invested, but with the help of prescription discount services, they are able to deliver actual medication savings solutions. This, in turn, builds the broker’s trust and ultimately boosts their reputation.
LowestMed and other consumer driven health plans provide innovative solutions that can benefit everyone navigating the expensive and confusing world of healthcare.