For the last few years many employers have responded to the ever-increasing cost of health insurance by moving employees to plans with higher and higher deductibles. This helps keep insurance costs in check, but many employees often feel that it's “all stick and no carrot.” They’re paying more out of pocket, but getting no rewards.
Adding extra benefits and perks to your company benefit plan may seem daunting to a small business owner. Here are five insanely good employee health resources that can enrich your benefits package, win you “boss of the year” – and they all cost you virtually nothing.
1. Doctor On Demand
When employees are sick, your business loses out on steady production, which ultimately costs money. Yet many employees resist going to the doctor because their health insurance plan has a high deductible, which prolongs their illness. When they finally do seek medical help, they may end up at urgent care or in the emergency room, driving up medical expenditures.
Instead, offer team members a low-cost option that gets them back to work faster and saves you money. Doctor On Demand gives employees access to board certified physicians through a top-rated video conferencing app within 90 seconds of logging in. The physicians with Doctor On Demand are able to diagnose through the video interaction, and prescribe drug treatment in minutes.
There are no setup fees or “per employee per month” pricing. All you pay is the consultation fee. After a contract is established, Doctor On Demand will work with any insurance company, and provides employee setup packages to help get the service implemented on a laptop or mobile device in minutes. The company reports that the average traditional care visit is $180, versus its $40 online visit fee, and they even treat 18 of the top 20 conditions seen in urgent care centers and emergency rooms.
2. Save On Medical
Available in nine states, including California, Florida, New York, and Texas, Save On Medical brings price transparency to individuals who need radiology, X-ray, CT scans, mammograms, ultrasounds, or an array of surgeries. The cost for medical tests and surgery can vary by thousands of dollars in the same city. With Save On Medical, employees get free access to preferred rates and can compare pricing in their local areas.
In addition, Save On Medical takes price shopping a step further. Once employees have selected a facility, appointments can be made online through the Save On Medical system, and then prepaid with health savings account dollars or personal funds. This keeps health-care costs more inline, and helps employees control their out-of-pocket expenses.
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3. Discount Drug Network
Many times employer health insurance plans have high deductible pharmacy benefits, leaving employees responsible for $2,000 or more in out-of-pocket drug expenses before health insurance kicks in. Leveraging the power of group purchasing, Discount Drug Network offers individuals discount drug savings that can be redeemed using a traditional ID card, printed coupon, or text message. With up to 15 percent savings on name brand prescriptions and up to 55 percent savings on generic drugs, comparative pricing can be searched online in advance so employees get the lowest price from one of over 66,000 participating pharmacies in the United States.
4. Health IQ
With a Facebook login or by setting up an account, employees can access Health IQ to test their health knowledge, and learn more about basic health, exercise, and fresh cooking techniques along the way. This fun, interactive site can be used with any desktop, tablet, or smartphone, and has an online community that participates in discussions with many healthy lifestyle boards. With hundreds of quizzes, employees can expand their personal health IQs and get online encouragement for weight loss, post-procedure recovery, and more.
Enough about employee benefits. This last company is a great resource for any small business owner. Zenefits is a virtual HR department that provides payroll, processing, employee onboarding, health insurance benefit management, and more – all completely free.
Running a startup may take all of your time, so Zenefits can act as your company health insurance broker, connecting your employees to the best health insurance plan that’s right for them and right for your company budget. By giving away its human resources software at no cost, Zenefits makes its money acting as your health insurance agent, which still costs you nothing.
Benefits are managed online 100 percent, and as your business grows, Zenefits takes care of new hire health insurance applications. When open enrollment time rolls around, Zenefits is on the ball, reminding employees to review their health-care options so you don’t have to.
The added bonus of encouraging employees to engage and manage their health care by using company-provided resources? Happier, healthier team members.
About Jeff Smedsrud
Jeff Smedsrud is Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer of HealthCare.com, the leading search engine and comparison tool for healthcare insurance plans. In his 30-year career, Jeff has built and grown health insurance marketing and business companies, and served as a healthcare reform advocate. Previously, Jeff was Chief Marketing Strategy Officer and Senior Vice President of The IHC Group, a publicly traded insurance holding company. Today Jeff serves on many nonprofit healthcare boards, including the Coalition of Affordable Health Coverage, and is a regular contributor to the HealthCare.com Blog.