2016 is almost officially upon us, and a new year means a fresh start. For most people, it's all about setting resolutions and goals to kick-start some positive changes. Meanwhile, many folks were overcome with a different emotion once the clock struck midnight - one of worry.
Just as sure as New Years is welcomed with the festive sounds of cheers and Auld Lang Syne, health plan deductibles also reset. For all of your employees who elected HDHP’s late last year, now is the time for them to open up those wallets if healthcare needs arise.
NEW CHALLENGES ON THE HORIZON
What's special about this new year is also the new Administration coming into office. The healthcare industry is anticipating whether the past several years with the Affordable Care Act will disintegrate right from underneath us, and the lack of knowledge of what to expect makes for a very atypical time in the world of healthcare.
What is certain is that changes in healthcare are coming. Ones that will create even more uncertainty and more instability than witnessed like ever before. It's safe to say that in 2016 healthcare costs will no doubt be on the rise, the speed of access to quality care will remain painstakingly slow, and already taxed HR departments will face the added stress of the Presidential transition hiccup.
But would it be possible to make your employees' lives easier by ridding them of long wait times and out of pocket expenses? How wonderfully fulfilled as an employer would you feel be to be able to provide them with fast and simple access to quality medical care without having to pay high deductibles? Whereby just picking up the phone they could get a consult and diagnosis, including prescriptions at no cost in minutes? And have access to a prescription at absolutely any time they need? This option to make your employees lives easier and reduce their expensive out of pocket healthcare costs lies in telemedicine.
However, before we let go of 2015 there is an important stat to mention. Unfortunately, the employee utilization rate of telemedicine benefits (from separate providers) industry wide is only about 7%. The utilization rate for telemedicine benefits that are bundled in major medical plans is only about 1%. Truthfully, telemedicine cannot provide the cost and time savings if not being used.
WHERE TELACARE WILL GO IN 2016
Telemedicine, first and foremost, will remove barriers. The policy of TelaCare is to make on-boarding and accessing benefits as smooth and simple as possible, so that through our service, employees will never have to spend unnecessary cash just to meet with a doctor.
Secondly, TelaCare will take sole responsibility for informing employees every detail on the utilization of their benefits. This includes us writing and distributing all informational material while we communicate with the HR team to creating the smoothest process to customize the learning experience.
At TelaCare, employee education is an ongoing job, as we become the client’s de facto marketing department when you sign up. Our articulate approach to employee engagement means we see a 44% utilization rate of benefits, more than six times the industry average, which we very much pride ourselves on.
If there's any question on how strongly we believe in the effective this year-round commitment to employee engage, it should be mentioned that we always guarantee that benefit savings will surpass the cost of the TelaCare service or the difference will be refunded. That's how strongly we believe in our service and our dedication to your employees' healthcare.
In 2015, Telemedicine benefits were utilized in more than 60% of larger employers' healthcare plans, with the majority embedded in major medical policies. Sadly, this form of telemedicine does not create any savings of cost and time, as very few people are likely to act upon them.
The healthcare field is becoming more consumer-friendly each year, which means 2016 will see an increase in this change. It's no question that all employees deserve healthcare benefits that are easy to understand, ones they feel comfortable about using without any unnecessary out of pocket fees. This is both our promise and our goal.