Human Resources |
Article by Lynda Sailor, Aspen Academy
From the January/February 2019 Net Assets magazine
Three years ago, Aspen Academy was facing 20 percent year-over-year increases in our health care benefit expenses. Our second largest expense after employee salaries, health care was driving 80 percent of our total expense growth. The biggest culprit was a 388 percent year-over-year increase in employee use of the emergency room, urgent care and primary care physician and clinic visits (for reference, we have 58 employees on the plan). Employees would visit for simple issues such as flu, cold, infections, rashes and allergies. And it wasn’t just the administration worried about escalating expenses; employees too grew increasingly concerned about their health care options and costs.
Thanks to a cold call from a local business owner — the type of call I would normally grimace at taking — we learned about telehealth options. We chose the company ARCpoint MD and specifically the 1-800 MD plan, to complement services through our insurance provider. Why?
Owning Their Health: the Brave New World of Health Care Benefits
Confronting the Pain of Health Care Costs
After two and a half years with the program, I have quantifiable results, but a simple message from a cherished employee may speak louder than any dry recitation of facts. One Sunday morning at 3 a.m. she woke to hear her son whimpering, found him “very groggy” and his forehead “on fire.” Panicking, she called our telehealth provider. She wrote, “Lynda, I can’t tell you how much my family and I truly appreciate our new telehealth option. … I spoke with a doctor within 5 minutes. He diagnosed an infection based on [her son’s] symptoms and prescribed an antibiotic along with other meds. He also found the closest 24-hour pharmacy and sent the script in immediately. I had the medications within 45 minutes from the moment I woke. I spent the rest of the night stroking his head and saying my prayers. Thank you!”
As for quantifiable results, costs are down drastically, and employee satisfaction and retention are up. Some notable gains:
Our employees and their families LOVE the service. Their satisfaction numbers are up significantly and so is our retention. Definitely a win-win!
Download a PDF of this article.#EmployeeBenefits
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