Though fully funded benefits plans may be the best choice for some businesses, self-funded plans can provide employers with unique tools that can help them access and use the data that is often hidden in the benefits industry. Carriers use data as justification to increase premiums – often dramatically – while keeping the specific numbers hidden from employers. As a result, business owners frequently pay more than necessary for the employees’ care, all while being kept in the dark about why these additional expenses are imposed.
Understanding why access to data is so important and working with an adviser who can get access to important numbers in your plan can help you and your employees save big while ensuring they get the care they need.
Uncovering the Numbers
One of the biggest problems contributing to overspending on benefits is the simple fact that many medical procedures aren’t even needed. In fact, a 2014 survey conducted by the John Hopkins research team revealed that up to 30 percent of medical care – including 22 percent of prescription medications, 25 percent of medical tests, and 11 percent of procedures – may be deemed “unnecessary.”
Having access to data like this can empower you and your employees to make better, most cost-effective choices about healthcare. Your adviser can help your employees advocate for care that they need without overspending or overmedicating.
Errors in data collection are bound to occur in any industry, but in a world as pricey as the benefits industry, those mistakes can be expensive. According to a report from The Associated Press, an Equifax audit found that hospital bills costing $10,000 or more contained an average billing error of $1,300. Believe it or not, that number isn’t even the most alarming one when it comes to medical billing errors – the Medical Billing Advocates of America have found that up to 80 percent of medical bills contain mistakes.
Of course, these billing mistakes are rarely detrimental to the carrier. Instead, employers and patients are the ones who get hit, potentially throwing away thousands of dollars as a result. A great adviser will have tools and strategies to reduce erroneous spending and ensure that you’re only paying for the care your employees receive.
An Adviser on Your Team
From the moment your employee becomes unwell to the time they’re finally feeling their best again, there is plenty of opportunity for incorrect data to increase costs and compromise their care. Working with an adviser who has the necessary tools to access that data can not only help your employees return to wellness, but also save them (and you) money in the process.
A good adviser knows to take benefits data with a grain of salt, and they can use the data that they find to:
- Search for cost-effective alternatives to help your employees save money
- Work with patient advocates to enforce proper billing
- Reduce unnecessary and invasive medical procedures
By working with an adviser who has access to the tools they need to see the data for themselves, you regain control of your benefits plan.
Data You Can Trust
Working with an adviser who knows how to access your benefits data and use it to your advantage can be crucial in developing a high-quality, low-cost plan. By examining variables like unnecessary medical care and billing mistakes, your adviser can more effectively work for and with you, building a benefits plan that’s based on numbers you can believe in.
Contact me today to learn more about how better access to data can give you a better benefits plan.