More employers are implementing High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) in an effort to control costs. A report from the Kaiser Family Foundation indicates that out-of-pocket expenses per worker increased 230% between 2006 and 2015 and are expected to continue to rise. Initial reports indicate that the implementation of a HDHP has reduced healthcare costs for employers in comparison to those who did not, but at what cost?
Additional studies have indicated that in response, up to 25% of employees are deferring basic healthcare and preventive services due to cost, including not obtaining prescription medications. Ultimately, higher costs for chronic disease management are expected.
The following trends are noted:
– 44% of employers will only offer HDHPs in the next three years.
– Employee contribution to healthcare expenses will continue to rise.
– Up to 25% of employees currently deferred basic and preventive healthcare services due to cost including not obtaining prescription medications.
– The disparity and financial burdens are even greater for lower income employees.
– The costs to provide chronic disease management are expected to worsen.
Eventually, the employer will need to consider novel and alternative approaches to this problem. The greatest current healthcare need is the availability of accessible and affordable primary care and preventive services. What approaches is your organization considering?