There are two things employers need to do:
1. Take a closer look at the health benefits you offer and the overall cost of your medical program to determine whether you’re over the threshold.
2. If you are, that means you need to take steps to reduce your exposure by reducing utilization and claims expenses.
Employers have a heavy incentive to avoid the tax. One way to do that is to reduce the coverage you offer your employees, often by raising deductibles. However, just because you raise deductibles doesn’t mean you reduce utilization or claims expense. The smart approach for employers is to keep employees as healthy as possible, and thereby reduce episodic care.
The other option is to manage your claims better to lower your expense by decreasing utilization and managing claims better, i.e., helping your employees to become healthier so that they ultimately don’t use their insurance as often. This is not a change that can occur overnight; you can’t issue a memo ordering your employees to be healthier. What employers have to do — starting now — is to think strategically about how best to make employees healthier.
In either of these scenarios, supplemental benefits can play a big role in assisting employees to cover the high deductibles by paying cash to the policyholder. These benefits not only help employees in paying medical bills but can also create a more positive atmosphere when introducing high deductible plans.
For more information on how to create plan designs that lower your monthly premiums and provide tax breaks for your company and the employees with supplemental benefits, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org