Whereas every employer recognizes the benefit of High Deductible Health Plans (HDHPs) on their bottom line, the impact on employee satisfaction is far from positive.  

No one is questioning HDHPs’ ability to help employers control their healthcare costs.  A recent Modern Healthcare article discusses the results of a new working paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research, a not-for-profit, nonpartisan research organization.  After three years of being on HDHPs, employees at several large U.S. companies did not record increased levels of care in the emergency department or hospitals.

“Employers are really worried about controlling healthcare costs,” said Neeraj Sood, director of research at the University of Southern California’s Schaeffer Center for Health Policy & Economics and co-author of the paper. “This research definitely shows that offering high-deductible plans is an effective strategy for doing that, at least over a three-year horizon.”

Despite the positive impact on providers, there are obvious concerns associated with HDHPs, most notably that patients may skimp on necessary preventive care to avoid large medical bills. Roughly 60% of adults with low or moderate incomes believe their deductibles are “difficult or impossible to afford,” according to the Commonwealth Fund.

According to a Harvard Business Review article entitled, Don’t Bother Complaining About High-Deductible Health Plans, employers have options to adopt innovative strategies to offset concerns as opposed to turning a blind eye.  “An executive at a successful, large company recently told me how her firm adapted its HDHP to fully cover pharmaceuticals and certain kinds of ongoing care, such as diabetes support. And they are seeing good results even at this early stage, including better use of primary care instead of emergency rooms by people with diabetes.”, according to article author, Leah Binder.

Another such option is for employers to encourage their health plan providers to offer patient account financing programs like MyLoans.  Particularly in conjunction with HSAs, financing programs enable high deductibles and coinsurance to be paid with pretax dollars.  This typically will more than offset any interest associated with appropriate financing programs.  An added benefit to providers is that they are paid in full upfront and can often see a reduction in the seasonality of patient demand from those aware of financing options.

About MyLoans™

By providing patients with fast access to medical loans at a fair and unchanging interest rate, the MyLoans™ software by Epic River enables financial institutions to ease the financial stress of health care through collaboration with medical providers. Not only can medical providers offer patient financing for medical care needs, but doctors and hospitals alike can finally get immediate funding of their patient’s outstanding balances. Additionally, financial institutions gain new customers and interest income with little administrative overhead in exchange for servicing the loan. For more information, visit www.myloans.co.

About Epic River, LLC
Since its inception in 2005, Epic River has been providing high quality software services aimed at solving process-intensive problems. With a focus on high quality and rapid delivery, Epic River’s methodology accelerates the process of innovation while keeping a firm grasp on the business case behind the application, enabling our partners to grow their market leadership. The company’s unique approach to the agile methodology and user experience ensures both parties work closely together every step of the way. Whether you’re looking to expand into new technologies or markets, need a custom internal tool, assistance with architecture, or simply need someone you can trust to make technology decisions, Epic River is at your service. For more information, visit www.epicriver.com.