How Health Care Trends Affect Employer Benefit Plans

employer health care costsBy Thad Brown, Director, Strategic Client Accounts and Planning

Employer Health Care Costs in 2018

Have you ever examined your annual health care costs, and wondered why your plan is so expensive?

You aren’t alone. Employers expect health care costs to rise 5.5% in 2018, bringing cost management strategies to the forefront of health benefit priorities.

Strategies to Control Costs

In the past five years, health care costs have continued to increase. As a result, employers have been moving to high-deductible health plans (HDHP) and Health Savings Accounts (HSA) as a way of controlling these costs.

employer health care costs

Members have increasingly become more responsible to choose appropriately-priced medical care, such as going to an urgent care facility for minor ailments instead of the emergency room. This cost awareness is giving rise to a consumer trend in health care.

However, we are also seeing a growing momentum to shift cost accountability and control into the hands of providers, using value-based payment models. Value-based health care compensates hospitals and doctors on the basis of patient health outcomes.

Improving the outcomes of employee health for an entire group is a key way to contain the expenses of company health plans.

Cost Trends Affecting Employers, Members & Providers

Opportunities for improving health plan costs have historically come from the following groups—employers, members and providers. Here are the trends we’re seeing with each of these groups.

Employer/Health Plan
  • The movement to HDHPs appears to be losing energy.
  • After shifting health care costs to employees for years, employers are starting to ease off.
  • This leaves less opportunity to stem increases in use of health care services.
  • Employers are working with health plan partners and providers to reduce inappropriate use of services and prescription opioids.
  • employer health care costsEmployers are seeking plan designs that drive members to more affordable care options, such as:
    • Telemedicine.
    • Specialized, high-volume, medical centers of excellence.
    • High-performance networks integrating clinical, operational and communications’ systems.
Member
  • Employee experience with the health care system now has a greater emphasis.
  • Employer-sponsored support helps employees to navigate treatment options and procedures.
  • Wellness programs now provide employer initiatives for employee financial, social, mental and physical health.
  • Wellness incentives and penalties in company-sponsored programs encourage member participation.
employer health care costsProvider
  • A growing focus on value tied to health care outcomes at the lowest cost.
  • More than 20% of employers are experimenting with high value networks and Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) in select markets. That number is expected to grow to over 50% in the next few years.
  • Providers are assuming additional risk for patients’ outcomes; and medical teams are working to reduce readmissions.
  • The cost of drugs and the need to shop prices is resulting in provider requests to consider the cost of services and prescriptions, before prescribing.

The Goal for Employers

As health care continues to take up a larger part of the overall economy, structural changes—such as the push toward paying for value, greater emphasis on care management and increased cost sharing with consumers—are taking stronger hold, pulling back against rapid health care spending growth.

Over the next three years employers will seek to improve member engagement in health and wellbeing programs, expand the use of analytics and seek to manage the cost and utilization of pharmacy.  Regardless of the strategy, employers will still be challenged to keep costs low for both the employee and the company.

The goal is for employers to provide a high value plan that manages cost for both the company health plan and the employee. MedCost works with our employers to improve health outcomes and to generate a more productive workforce.

Our next series of blog posts will describe six key ways that employers can achieve this goal. Subscribe to our blog now to receive these posts by email. MedCost

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What are the top drivers in your health plan costs? Send your comments by clicking “Leave a reply” below.

 

10 Ways to Win with Employee Wellness Programs

How One Employee Lost 70 Pounds & Turned Her Life Around

Why Employee Wellness?

employee wellnessLifestyle choices, family issues and financial worries impact employee productivity and absenteeism. At MedCost, our nurses see it every day working with health plan members.

A well-designed employee wellness program can help address many of these issues. And it doesn’t have to be big and complicated. It simply has to work for your employees.

At MedCost, we had these same challenges within our own workplace. Part of what we do is advise clients on programs that help improve the health of their employees. We determined first to work with our own staff for greater improvements in each employee’s health.

Patrenia’s Story

The truth about her health never got through to Patrenia Johnson until a year ago. She had always struggled with her weight; and was diagnosed with type II diabetes at the age of 24. But denial was a comfortable way to continue her eating habits and to manage every emotion she felt.

A year ago, Patrenia met with her endocrinologist. After examining her history of A1C numbers, which were once again out of control, the doctor looked intently at Patrenia.

“Do you want to live, or die?” the doctor said.

Patrenia finally faced the truth – she might die from diabetes.

Just like her dad. Just like her close friend.

Making Wellness a Priority

employee wellnessWe wanted our employees and those of our clients to have practical tools to support real changes in their lives. We wanted to keep low-risk members from developing more serious conditions.

Hiring a corporate wellness manager allowed us to benefit our own staff and provide expert wellness consultations for our clients.

New wellness features implemented for MedCost employees began to have an immediate impact. During breaks and at lunch, conversations could be heard about calories, healthy foods, or how many steps had been logged that day.

More employees purchased standing desks and took the stairs. People began to think about their lifestyle choices and how to implement healthier habits.

We recruited new members from more departments for the wellness committee, led by our employee wellness manager.

The company also launched a comprehensive program for clients called Healthy & Wholewith fresh ideas to balance care for employees with a company’s financial health. Watch the video here.

Employee Wellness: 10 Ways to Win

Here are 10 ways we’re encouraging employee wellness:

  1. Offered a $500 incentive for completing employee wellness requirements—even if not on the company health plan.
  2. Ongoing exercise classes, subsidized by MedCost
  3. employee wellnessFree wearable device with fitness app that tracks activity, nutrition, sleep, mood and hydration
  4. Lifestyle coaching resources for weight loss, tobacco cessation, financial health and dealing with stress
  5. Company softball and kickball teams to compete in adult recreational leagues
  6. An online platform, myStrength, for stress management and emotional health
  7. A “Wellness Moment” at regular middle management meetings and company Town Halls
  8. Monthly Lunch-n-Learns on health topics
  9. Walk with Me Wednesdays
  10. Fresh Fruit Fridays in break rooms

Patrenia’s Success

Patrenia enrolled in the Personal Care Management program as a diabetic. Her nurse health coach regularly contacted Patrenia, offering resources, suggestions and ongoing support.

She joined company exercise classes and the coed softball team. Patrenia began to incorporate these actions into her daily life:

  • Reducing food portions
  • Giving up carbonated soft drinks
  • Not depriving herself of certain foods, but limiting them
  • Walking with coworkers during breaks
  • Taking onsite exercise classes
  • Welcoming accountability from fellow employees for her eating habits
employee wellness

Patrenia before losing 70 lbs.

employee wellness

Patrenia one year later

Change wasn’t easy.

So far, she has dropped 10 dress sizes, losing almost 70 pounds. She says it’s still a daily struggle, but the results are worth it.

“I’m not as tired anymore. The doctors say that my kidneys look good. My eyes look good. I want to keep hearing that from my doctors.

“And most of all—I want to be here for my family.”

Employee Wellness—Winning for a Lifetime

Employers care about more than a profit-and-loss column. They provide health care benefits because they care about their employees. For the 75% of employees and families who are healthier, wellness programs can help prevent conditions from escalating.

Lifestyle changes—even small ones—create measurable outcomes of better health, productivity and an employer’s bottom line.MedCost

Watch this informative video about our new comprehensive program, Healthy & Whole.

“Do you want to live, or die?” the doctor said.

12 Ways to Save on Prescription Drugs

Zafeira S. Paradis, MedCost PharmDBy Zafeira S. Paradis, PharmD, MedCost Clinical Consultant

Did You Know? Generic drugs work the same as their brand-name counterparts.

Generic drugs are tested and approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) so we know they are safe and effective, just like the brand name. Most of the time, generic drugs cost less for you and your health plan. The average cost of a 30-day supply of a brand-name drug is $300, while a generic drug is $30.
Not all brand-name drugs have a generic version available on the market, but many do. For example, these commonly used drugs are available as lower-cost generics (see table below). 
Talk with your doctor and pharmacist about the drugs you are taking. Always ask if there are lower-cost options available—especially generic versions.MedCost

Prescription Drugs: 12 Ways to Save

prescription drugs

Did You Know? Generic drugs work the same as
their brand-name counterpa
rts.

When Nurse Support Makes All the Difference: One Family’s Story

nurse support

The Vincent White Family

Facing a Difficult Surgery

Vincent White tried everything to get rid of his back pain. Neck clamps. Surgery. Spinal decompression. This lab supervisor at Carolinas Healthcare had persistent pain from a narrowed bone channel housing the spinal cord and nerves.

The calcification worsened. Finally, doctors recommended another back surgery. “He was stumbling around the house,” said wife Lisa. “He could barely move.”

When Lisa walked into her husband’s hospital room after the operation, a doctor from the critical ICU team delivered bad news. Vincent was paralyzed.

“He was in ICU for 21 days,” said Lisa. “Doctors said he probably would not walk again.” Vincent had another surgery while in ICU to repair a spinal cord leak. After six weeks in rehab, he came home to his wife and 11-year-old daughter Olivia.

Experienced Nurse Support
Stepped In

Long before Vincent’s release, Lindsay Spainhour, RN, BSN, the Whites’ MedCost Case Manager*, was working with the medical providers, planners and discharge team. Lindsay followed his progress closely to ensure that he received all the care needed in this crucial time of their lives.

“Lindsay got to know me and took time to care about what my husband and I were going through,” Lisa said. “She got the special kind of air mattress we needed, and told us not to worry about authorization.” nurse supportLindsay called the supplier for Vincent’s wheelchair until it finally arrived. And when Vincent was diagnosed with a wound two weeks after arriving home, she provided education, supplies and questions for Lisa to ask medical staff when Vincent was readmitted to the hospital.

Vincent and Lisa continue to make lifestyle adjustments. He wears a catheter. He can’t take a normal vacation with his family. But Lisa says that their MedCost Case Manager made a big difference.

More Than Just a Job

“She did things she didn’t have to do, to make sure my husband’s needs were met over and beyond. I could tell in Lindsay’s voice that it was more than just a job.

“We sometimes complain about what we pay for premiums, but the benefits of having a case manager like Lindsay far outweighed the cost. Get a case worker. It can save you energy to focus on your family.MedCost


*The Whites gave MedCost permission to share their story to help others realize the benefits of the Complex Case Management program. MedCost Complex Case Management is a program where registered nurses who are also certified case managers work with individuals who have experienced a life-changing illness or injury. The goal of the program is to ensure the best use of available health plan resources while enhancing quality of life.

 

7 Care Management Results: Balancing Medical Care, Benefit Costs

How Can Employers Balance Medical Care & Benefit Costs?

MedCost Care Management programs are designed to conserve health care costs for our clients while improving an individual’s health.

Our nursing staff averages 22 years of experience; and includes board-certified case managers and nurses certified in intrinsic coaching and grief counseling.

Here are our 2017 results that exceed industry averages, resulting in lower health care costs for our clients.

Care Management

Care Management Resources

Want to know more about how to manage medical costs? These resources give employers more details:

  1. Complex Case Management 
  2. Inpatient Management
  3. Outpatient Management
  4. Telehealth Services
  5. Nurse Health Coaching
  6. Maternity Management
  7. Behavioral Health

To print this infographic, click on the title and scroll to “PRINT THIS PAGE” at the bottom.MedCost

Helping Employers Achieve the Benefits Balance

Employers Benefits Balance

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO

Balance.

An even distribution of weight enabling someone or something to remain upright and steady.

A condition in which different elements are equal or in the correct proportions.

The definitions make it sound easy—spreading the load around so no one person or group is under duress.

But balance is quite elusive.

We strive for it in all aspects of our lives.

Employers are no exception.

Employers Benefits BalanceThey struggle with it in the workplace, especially as it pertains to benefits.

CEOs, CFOs and HR directors are caught in the tugs of emotion and cost spreadsheets.

MedCost helps employers in their pursuit of balance.

Balancing medical care and cost management. Balancing the ideal with the reality.

Other benefits administrators can’t match our integrated clinical programs that combine member care with effective claims management.

And big name insurance companies, well, they use a scale. Scales are not negotiable. They don’t allow employers to make choices.

Achieving Employers Benefits Balance

MedCost helps self-funded companies balance self-care, the health of their company, with the care of others, their employees.

We enable companies to achieve the benefits balance™ that’s right for them.

MedCost. That balance is built right into our name.MedCost

(This is a transcript of the video, “Helping Employers Achieve the Benefits Balance.”)

Employers Benefits Balance

CLICK IMAGE TO WATCH VIDEO

*More Information for VA Employers
*More Information for NC Employers
*More Information for SC Employers

 

How to Help Employees Become HEALTHY & WHOLE (Video)

Ready to Balance the Care of Your Employees
with the Financial Health of Your Company?
HEALTHY & WHOLE

WATCH VIDEO NOW

  • Annual health care costs in America are $3.2 trillion.
  • Employees average 5.3 unplanned sick days per year.
  • That productivity lost is more than 1 and 1/2 hours of an 8-hour day.

When disease management and wellness programs combine, employers average $30 per member per month in decreased health care costs.

HEALTHY & WHOLE

That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive program called HEALTHY & WHOLE.

HEALTHY & WHOLE encompasses physical, emotional, financial and social health – and
greater job satisfaction for employees.

The goal is to help employers balance the care of employees with the financial health of your
company.

HEALTHY & WHOLE Includes Disease Management

Our nurse health coaches provide hands-on support, helping members reduce blood
pressure, glucose levels and lose weight.

And for complex conditions, case managers provide expert help for families in very difficult
situations.

Over 73% of businesses offer corporate wellness to attract and retain talent, and strengthen
company culture. Another advantage is to encourage enrollment in consumer-directed health
plans, a growing trend.

HEALTHY & WHOLE Supports Lifestyle Changes

HEALTHY & WHOLE addresses not only members with chronic diseases, but the 75% who
need support with lifestyle changes.

Lifestyle changes – even small ones – create measurable outcomes of better health, productivity and bottom line.

The Results of Corporate Wellness Programs

HEALTHY & WHOLE

http://www.nahueducationfoundation.org/materials/WellnessBrochure.pdf

Implementing corporate wellness programs dropped claims costs -28%, doctor visits -17% and hospital admissions -63%.

This same study showed disability costs down -34% and injury incidence down -25%.

An employer we worked with said that he is passionate about having happy employees. If they
are happy, they will be productive and engaged.

A Program That Benefits Employees and Companies

Lifestyle coaching. Financial education. Fitness. Nurse health coaching. Long-term medical
conditions. HEALTHY & WHOLE serves everyone’s needs, including your company’s.

We want to see everyone HEALTHY & WHOLE. That’s why it’s important to us to balance the care of your employees with the financial health of your company.MedCost

HEALTHY & WHOLE

PLAY VIDEO

(This post is a transcript from the video, “MedCost HEALTHY & WHOLE.”)

For more information on wellness consultations for employers, email Kati Davis.

 

FDA Approved 46 Novel Drugs in 2017

MedCost pharmacist

By Zafeira Sarrimanolis, PharmD, MedCost Clinical Consultant

In 2016 we saw 22 brand-new novel drugs hit the market. This year the FDA has approved 46 novel drugs.

A novel drug is an innovative product with a chemical structure that has never been FDA approved before and usually meets a previously unmet medical need.

In 2017, these novel drug approvals were accompanied by an influx of specialty and brand-name drugs to the market – many treating common chronic conditions like diabetes, asthma and RA.

It is a very exciting time in the healthcare world as these new drugs significantly advance patient care. However, these treatments come at a cost… literally.

This is not a comprehensive list of new-to-market drugs, and does not include all 46 novel drugs, but is a snapshot of key 2017 FDA approvals.

It is hard to predict what the FDA and drug manufacturers will do in 2018. However, we should expect even more high-cost drugs to be approved and available for members.

Hopefully these will be accompanied by the influx of generics and biosimilars to the market – which may help off-set rising drug costs.

One thing we know for sure is that managing drug costs will continue to be key. We employ cost-management strategies such as:

  • Formulary management
  • Prior authorizations
  • Step-therapy programs
  • Regulation of copay cards

All of these strategies will be foundational in conserving costs.MedCost

Drug
Approval Date
Approved Use(s)
Estimated Annual Cost
Notes
Hemlibra

(emicizumab)

11/16/17 Hemophilia A with FVIII inhibitors $450,000
Mepsevii

(vestronidase alfa-vjbk)

11/15/17 Mucopolysaccharidosis VII (MPS VII, Sly syndrome) $375,000
Fasenra

(benralizumab)

11/14/17 Severe asthma (add-on treatment) $30,000
Yescarta

(axicabtagene ciloleucel)

10/18/17 B-cell lymphoma $370,000
Verzenio

(abemaciclib)

9/28/17 Breast cancer $130,000
Aliqopa

(copanlisib)

9/14/17 Relapsed follicular lymphoma $160,000
Kymriah

(tisagenlecleucel)

8/30/17 Acute lymphocytic leukemia $475,000 per treatment First gene therapy ever approved in the US
Bespona

(inotuzumab ozogamicin)

8/17/17 Relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia $170,000

 

Idhifa

(enasidenib)

8/1/17 Relapsed or refractory acute myeloid leukemia $280,000

 

Vosevi

(sofosbuvir, velpatasvir, voxilaprevir)

7/18/17 Hepatitis C $75,000 for 3-month treatment
Nerlynx

(neratinib maleate)

7/17/17 Reduce risk of breast cancer returning $125,000
Tremfya

(guselkumab)

7/13/17 Moderate-to-severe plaque psoriasis

 

$58,000
Endari

(L-gultamine)

7/7/17 Sickle cell disease $11,000 – $18,000 Second drug approved for Sickle Cell in the US
Haegarda

(C1 esterase inhibitor)

6/22/17 Hereditary angioedema $400,000
Fibryna

(fibrinogen)

6/7/17 Congenital fibrinogen deficiency n/a Pending launch date
Rebinyn

(coagulation factor IX)

5/31/17 Hemophilia B n/a Expected launch early 2018
Kevzara

(sarilumab)

5/22/17 Rheumatoid arthritis $39,000 Second-line agent
Radicava

(edaravone)

5/5/17 ALS $145,000 Second drug ever approved for ALS
Ryadapt

(midostaurin)

4/28/17 Acute myeloid leukemia $180,000
Brineura

(cerliponase alfa)

4/27/17 Batten disease

 

$700,000 Very rare, inherited condition
Ingrezza

(valbenazine)

4/11/17 Tardive dyskinesia $64,000 – $128,000 depending on dose
Ocrevus

(ocrelizumab)

3/28/17 Multiple sclerosis $65,000 (~20% less than current treatments)
Dupixent

(dupilumab)

3/28/17 Moderate-to-severe eczema $37,000
Zejula

(niraparid)

3/27/17 Epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers $160,000
Bavencio

(avelumab)

3/23/17 Merkel cell carcinoma $150,000
Kisqali

(ribociclib)

3/13/17 Breast cancer $130,000

 

 


Key sources:

 

(To print, click on the title and scroll to “PRINT THIS PAGE” at the bottom)

 

10 Terms You Need to Know in Self-Insured Health Plans

Confused by all the “insurance-speak” in your company health plan? Here’s a quick guide for phrases in benefit plans for self-insured employers.


self-insured

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Self-Insured: What Does It Mean?

1 Self-Insured: Also called self-funding. Employers choose this model of funding to pay for health claims from company assets and employee premiums. Self-insurance allows employers to pay only for actual claims, instead of the fixed premiums of fully-insured plans. A 2013 study by the Kaiser Family Foundation noted three of five covered employees are in self-insured health plans.[1]

2 ERISA: Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, passed by Congress to establish federal regulations for self-funded benefit plans. Self-funded employers avoid fees such as the Health Insurance Provider Fee,[2] Risk Adjustment Fee[3] and Federally Facilitated Exchange User FeeSelf-funded employers also avoid certain state premium taxes.

3 SPD: Summary Plan Description that lists health plan terms and conditions, written for a particular employer or organization. The SPD defines the benefit coverage and exclusions. MedCost ensures that coverage and exclusions mirror the stop loss contract. If the stop loss contract does not mirror benefits offered, the employer may have to pay claims that were not covered by the stop loss carrier.

Fixed Vs. Variable Cost

self-insured

4 Fixed Cost: Predetermined fees that are paid as part of a health plan, regardless of actual expenses. Fully-insured plans are 100% fixed cost, paid out in set premium rates to the carrier. Self-insured fixed costs range from 18%—21% of total plan costs for administrative fees and stop loss insurance.

5 Variable Cost: Also called soft dollars, which may translate into potential savings for a self-funded employer. Prudent employers deposit funds for the total estimated employee claims into a reserve account in the company’s name. These dedicated funds remain in the employer’s account for future medical expenses if not spent during a plan year. MedCost provides professional underwriting services to help employers ensure that they are adequately covered for both expected and unexpected claims.

6 Corridor: Also known as claims or risk corridor, or margin. Underwriters include this as a cushion to cover unexpected claims. Generally this amount is around 25% for self-funded plans and 20% for fully-insured plans. Expected claims plus risk corridor (for variable expenses) determine the maximum liability (or attachment point).

Stop Loss Insurance

7 Stop Loss Insurance: Coverage designed to protect self-funded employers from the risk of catastrophic claims beyond a predetermined liability. MedCost underwriters recommend policies with consistency between the stop loss policy and the employer’s SPD, to avoid any gaps in coverage when claims are submitted.[4]

8 Specific Stop Loss Deductible: The limit of liability under stop loss coverage on an individual employee covered under an employer’s heath care plan. The employer chooses this amount based on total group size and selected risk tolerance.

Stop Loss Coverage Specific Example

Self-insured
Jane Smith suffers from renal failure and undergoes kidney dialysis. Her claims total $300,000. Jane’s employer is self-funded and has purchased specific stop loss with a $75,000 deductible.

Total Claim $300,000
Employer Deductible $75,000
Amount Reimbursed by Stop Loss Carrier $225,000

9 Aggregate Stop Loss Deductible: This amount is the self-funded employer’s overall or group liability under a stop loss policy. Underwriters typically project expected claims plus a 25% margin to determine an employer’s maximum liability (or attachment point).

Stop Loss Coverage Aggregate Example

self-insured

  • Includes claims paid that do not exceed the specific deductible
  • When underwritten appropriately, expenses should approach the amount of expected claims ($4 million), rather than the maximum liability ($5 million)
Expected claims $4,000,000
25% Margin $1,000,000
Maximum Claims Liability $5,000,000

10 Benefits Administrator: Also called a third party administrator (TPA) or administrative services organization (ASO). Employers typically contract with an administrator to handle benefits plan documents, claims payments and provide other services. Experienced administrative companies like MedCost can preserve significant savings for employers through careful management of resources, with customized benefits and targeted products to meet employer needs.

We’ve spent over 30 years in the industry. We know health care choices are complicated and not getting any simpler.

Questions?

Have questions? Contact your health care consultant or Jason at MedCost for more resources.


 

[1] “2013 Employer Health Benefits Survey,” Kaiser Family Foundation, August 20, 2013, http://kff.org/report-section/ehbs-2013-section-10/

[2] “Affordable Care Act Provision 9010, Health Insurance Providers Fee,” http://www.irs.gov/Businesses/Corporations/Affordable-Care-Act-Provision-9010

[3] “Explaining Health Care Reform: Risk Adjustment, Reinsurance, and Risk Corridors,” Kaiser Family Foundation, January 22, 2014, http://kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/explaining-health-care-reform-risk-adjustment-reinsurance-and-risk-corridors/

[4] For more information, download Stop Loss Coverage White Paper: Maximizing Benefits, Limiting Risk

Telemedicine: Yes, There’s a Doctor in the House

telehealth A sick child might have a fever at 3:00 am. Or the family might be visiting grandparents a long way from home. But if an employer-sponsored health plan includes telemedicine services, a board-certified doctor’s consultation is only a phone call away.

Employers Are Choosing Telemedicine

An overwhelming 96% of US employers plan to offer telemedicine services in applicable states* in 2018, the National Business Group on Health reports. The reasons for this rapidly growing health benefit are obvious:

  1. Quick ResponseTeladoc, the nation’s largest provider of telemedicine consultations, averages 22 minutes for a call-back from a licensed, board-certified doctor who practices in the caller’s state.
  2. Convenience. This consultation can be held by phone or online. Teladoc requests some medical information before having the doctor return the call.
  3. Appropriate Care for Less. Almost 80% of adult Emergency Room visits are due to lack of access to other providers.** Access to telemedicine visits can limit hours spent away from work, as well as more expensive care at any hour, day or night.

Telemedicine Offers Treatment Alternatives

Telemedicine consultations are not meant to replace primary care providers. But if an employee has one of the minor ailments listed below, 24/7 access is convenient, and reduces spiraling costs for the employer and the employee.

Treatment Alternatives to the Emergency Room

Telemedicine

Common conditions treated through a telemedicine phone call or online visit are:

  • Infections
  • Allergies
  • Pain
  • Minor joint trauma
  • Gastroenteritis (stomach flu)

Telemedicine Services Are Expanding

Teladoc has expanded optional services for employer health plans to include behavioral health. If an employer chooses to add this option, experienced psychiatrists, therapists and counselors would be available at a flat, per-encounter fee. Members can choose to see the same provider throughout the course of care.

Behavioral health conditions*** range from:

  • Stress/anxiety
  • Depression
  • Addiction
  • Domestic abuse
  • Grief counseling

Just a Phone Call Away

Need a better prescription for your health care expenses? Expert care from area doctors may be available with a phone call, whether on vacation at Disney World or in pajamas at 3:00 a.m.

With telemedicine services, there is a doctor in the house.MedCost

______________________________________________________________________________

*Teladoc operates subject to state regulation and may not be available in certain states.

**“Emergency Room Use Among Adults Aged 18-64: Early Release of Estimates from the National Health Interview Survey, January-June 2011.” National Center for Health Statistics. May 2012. https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/nhis/releases.htm (accessed October 31, 2017).

***Consult your employer’s summary plan description for complete coverage details.