We often run into this issue: “Can plan members help to control plan costs?”
With most things, there is a fair amount of debate. But with this question, my answer is explicitly “yes”.
Plan members create and ultimately control healthcare costs, and savings. But if you want them to do it correctly they’ll need some help. In fact, most plan members are really looking for help from their employer. After all, the employer provides the plan and will be the ones to tell everyone that they have an increase in premiums next year.
How to control healthcare cost
The industry is pretty loaded with cost control methods and the plan members don’t usually realize how much their insurance actually costs – it’s taken directly out of their paycheck before they see it. Carriers try to reduce costs by making arrangements with the doctors that you have access to. This is called your ‘network’.
There is a lot that each individual plan member can do as well. And if you think about the huge heatlhcare budget for even small companies, minimal behavior change can add up to a significant cost reduction.
- “Care Intelligence” – it’s the most important thing you’ll hear this year (it’s my term, cut me some slack). Think about this – who cares more about your outcome than you? By understanding the way that the medical system works, and your role in it, your outcomes are significantly better. It’s a simple equation: The less you know the longer it takes to get better. The more you know the quicker you get better. And care costs money. A lot of money. See this article on health literacy.
Why do people have to have care intelligence?
Its not that doctors can’t do their jobs, or that they are money hungry corporate fat cats. They just can’t do all things for all people all the time. You just need to know how to help the doctor figure out which of the 1,000 reasons you’ve got that headache.
Ultimately, it comes down to your level of comfort with each step in your treatment. While I can’t tell you how to get the best care on the planet, all in one 500 word essay, I can tell you this:
You have more power than you think you do