One of the more controversial developments in health insurance over the past few years has been the proliferation of high-deductible plans. These can be HMOs, PPOs, EPOs, you name it, but they all have high deductibles. Sometimes the deductibles are only a couple of thousand dollars — considered high by the government — but they can run higher, with some plans heading into five, six, or even seven thousand dollars.
The advantage to these plans is that the premiums are a lot lower than those of other plans, which helps those who don't want to spend a lot of money up front and who tend not to have to see the doctor that often. Yet that creates a few disadvantages of its own. So, if you're putting together a group insurance plan, should you include high-deductible plans?
As mentioned, the real advantage here is the lower premium. If someone typically doesn't need to see the doctor that often, paying more for insurance tends not to make sense. This is not the case for people with kids or who have chronic problems; they'll need a plan with a lower deductible that is easier to meet. But for single people without kids who don't want to see a lot of money disappear from their paychecks each month? A high-deductible plan could work. They'd still have coverage in case of emergency.
Putting Off Care
However, should those people end up needing to see the doctor, they'd likely have to pay most, if not all, of the cost (depending on the type of appointment) until they met the higher deductible. That could prompt them to put off getting the care they need, which could lead to more serious problems. You may want to add a health savings account to these plans and contribute some money so that workers with the high-deductible plans don't put off care.
A Health Savings Account
Of course, everyone in the workplace should be able to access the health savings account option if they want it. Unless you know you've got employees who will choose options with super-low deductibles, helping the rest out with initial appointment costs is best. But those with high-deductible plans should definitely have the health savings account attached to the plans.
Creating a group health insurance offering is not the easiest task, but it is relatively simple. Once you see what the options are, you can find the best two or three plans that would cover most of your employees' needs.