The beginning of a new year can be really exciting. Begin a fresh start on changing your old ways. Maybe it’s spending more quality time with your family or taking better care of yourself. Dieting resolutions and gym memberships increase in January of every year. Within the first five months of the new-year, 80 percent who joined a gym in January quit. It’s the 20 percent who go on to make a difference in their health. As a business, are you doing things that the other 80 percent of businesses are not doing to stay competitive, especially in your healthcare budget? Are you tired of getting those healthcare premium increases year over year that bloat your budget? What if you could trim 30% to 40% off of your healthcare budget and provide a better benefit to your employees? You can’t lose the weight of your healthcare cost on your P&L statement if you are doing what you’ve always done and what the other 80% are still doing. Let me explain.

What have you done to lower the size and frequency of your healthcare claims this year? When this one question is asked I always get this blank stare. CFO’s have a fiduciary responsibility to their company’s health plan. Many do not realize they can control the cost of their healthcare budget. If you produce widgets, you understand exactly what it will cost to produce that one widget. All along the supply chain you know exactly what each item cost to produce that one widget. If the cost for that item should ever change you can search for another supplier to offer a better price for that item to make the widget at a competitive price. For a business to stay competitive it is imperative to understand your cost throughout the supply chain. For the most part, most employers don’t think that works in healthcare. But it does. Let me give you some examples.

Did you realize that the cost of an MRI can cost $600 – $4000 based on the facility you use? What about medications? There can be a vast difference in the cost of a medication between a national pharmacy and a low cost local pharmacy. Don’t leave out the doctors. Have you ever asked the surgeon who is about to perform the surgery what their readmission rate is on the services they render? Each question has an impact on the cost to your health plan and the cost to your employees.

You may say, we can just change our plan or move to another insurance carrier. How has that worked so far? Moving employees to a high deductible health plan or changing carriers doesn’t reduce the severity and frequency of claims. We’ve all heard employees must have some skin in the game. Most employees are living paycheck to paycheck and are putting off much needed care because they cannot afford the increased deductible and out of pocket max their employers have increased. How inhumane is that? What kind of “employee benefit” is that? Reducing the demand of healthcare (increasing deductibles and copays) doesn’t work. Your renewal increase is proof of that. Your 2019 goal should be to reduce your healthcare spend. There is a better way.

Marty Haynes

Haynes Full Circle Benefits

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