For companies, providing employees with healthcare tends to be the second-largest operating expense after payroll. As a small business who may be struggling to attract top talent and pay competitive salaries, an attractive benefits package could be the difference between hiring the best in your field or having to settle for second best.
More often than not, small employers that provide healthcare end up transferring the high costs to their employees by requiring them to pay high deductibles for insurance plans. And since many workers at small companies can’t afford the out-of-pocket expenses that accompany high deductible health plans (HDHPs), these benefit packages aren’t exactly enticing to prospective employees.
When you’re a small business trying to find your bearings, attract top talent, and keep your employees happy, the balance can be tough to sustain. If your employees are paying out-of-pocket for their medical bills, their costs and unsatisfaction can escalate quickly. By providing additional benefits, you help employees control expenses and address health concerns before they become serious issues that impact your premiums or retention. Studies show that employers who spend more money upfront on primary care pay less on specialized healthcare downstream. But with all the options in the marketplace, what plan is best?
A Solution to Consider
Innovative small-business owners are adopting direct primary care (DPC) because it provides a better experience for employees regarding the accessibility and affordability of care. It also mitigates overspending for employers by decreasing referrals to specialists and offering prescriptions at discounted prices. DPC is also a highly effective option when paired with major medical insurance plans such as HDHPs.
Put simply, DPC is a non-insurance healthcare model where a flat monthly fee is paid for a defined set of primary care services. While services differ nationally, DPC membership typically includes timely and unlimited access to your physician via in-office visit or over the phone. The model is structured to emphasize the patient-physician relationship to improve health outcomes.
Employees enrolled in direct primary care have 59 percent fewer ER visits, are referred to specialists 62 percent less often, have 65 percent fewer radiology exams, and have 80 percent fewer surgeries. Because of this, some self-insured employers reported saving as much as $260 per member per month on health care expenses.
What that looks like for employees is having healthcare access for unexpected health crises but not having to pay out-of-pocket deductibles for primary care and management of certain chronic diseases. Instead, they utilize their direct primary care plan, avoid deductibles, and pay a small fee to their doctor for the visit.
Though it’s clear that early intervention from a primary care doctor does save money and lives, emergencies can still arise. When medical catastrophes happen, employees can then utilize their major medical (or HDHP) for more comprehensive services like specialist visits for advanced disease states or surgeries. Since the majority of medical issues people face can be handled with primary care, the instances of employees having to use their major medical is greatly reduced. Knowing they can get quality primary care affordably, while having additional coverage in the case of an emergency, provides peace of mind for employees. Keeping your workforce healthy keeps you up and running without major interruptions in customer service or business operations.
Employers know it isn’t easy to outshine competitors with second-tier talent. If they are ready to provide a benefit that saves them money and makes employees happy, it’s time to invest in an innovative benefits package. DPC is a win-win for small businesses and their valued employees. With DPC decreasing the cost of health insurance claims and creating a healthier workforce, it’s no wonder this model is becoming so popular.
To learn more about how DPC can benefit your small business, contact Healthcare2U.