If you’re an employer who is offering pre-tax benefits, you’ve already taken a huge step in the right direction to help employees manage out-of-pocket expenses. Back in September, we wrote a piece focused on using pre-tax benefits to help employees save on medical expenses. This piece focuses on more practical steps you can share with employees to help them manage out-of-pocket expenses.
Choose generic vs. brand name
Encourage employees to purchase generic products over brand name products. Most large retail stores like Walgreens or CVS offer a generic brand for health care items. Think “adhesive bandage” instead of “BAND-AID®”. Generic products are usually nearly identical in terms of form and function to their more expensive counterparts, but appreciably easier on the wallet.
Save on prescriptions
Another great way for employees to save is to research prescription prices. Make sure employees are aware of tools like GoodRx, which allows them to do a quick price comparison on prescriptions in their area. They just need to type in the drug’s name and their zip code to see multiple prices as well as nearby locations where the drug is available.
Go to an in-network urgent care facility
Urgent care facilities are becoming more common. If your employee has an injury, their first thought might be to go to the ER. It’s an easy option for a stressed mind to autopilot to during, well, an emergency. But an urgent care facility will often be closer and less expensive, as long as the facility is in-network. If the facility isn’t in-network, the prices might not be any lower than an emergency room visit. Help employees manage out-of-pocket expenses by making sure they are aware of both options.
Do healthcare materials provided to your employees list remote care as an option? If an employee’s child is showing worrisome symptoms on a weekend night, they don’t have to wait until Monday morning for a diagnosis. With access to remote care like Doctor on Demand, they can receive answers 24/7 from board-certified medical professionals.
Negotiate healthcare bills
Many employees don’t know that they can negotiate prices on medical service received. If they are receiving care at an out-of-network provider, it might actually be easier for them to negotiate lower prices. Unlike care received at in-network health centers, care at out-of-network locations frequently have not been negotiated to a lower price by an insurance carrier.
The last step
When your employees are less stressed about medical expenses, they can devote more time and energy to family, friends and work. Healthy employees are productive employees. If you’d like to learn more ways to help your employees manage out-of-pocket expenses, please request a proposal or contact us.