Health Care Competition Is Rising, But So Are Costs
As America slowly adjusts to a health care landscape with mandatory insurance and state and federal exchanges, we’re starting to see a few different trends emerge as insurers and businesses change up their tactics.
One real benefit we’ve seen from the exchanges is a boost in options to choose from and a boost in healthy living incentives. The exchanges have the advantage of not having to make a deal with a specific health care provider the way that a business does, which means that visitors can see health care plans from most of the major insurers in their area.
Thanks to rules set down in the Affordable Care Act, these plans also have to meet certain minimum quality standards. Plans have to cover things like annual checkups and pregnancies, and so while the cheapest plans no longer exist, that’s only because they hardly covered any health care costs in the first place.
Unfortunately, beyond the fact that premiums are slowly rising along with the economy, health care costs for individual employees are going up because employers are finding ways to cut their budgets by pushing the burden onto the employees. They do this by selecting plans with low premiums and high deductibles, which means that the employees have to pay a thousand dollars or more before the majority of their benefits kick in.
Partly this is to avoid paying extra on “Cadillac” premium health care packages thanks to a law that won’t take effect until 2018, but partly it’s to avoid paying more for the new, higher premiums. Previously, businesses could offer “barely there” plans which only partially covered basic health care visits and very little more, but now that there are minimum standards businesses have to find other ways to cut their health care spending.
Fortunately for both businesses and individuals, there are programs out there that can help you squeeze a little more out of your budget: programs like the USA Rx pharmacy discount card. Signing up is easy and it’s free, and once you have your card you can get discounts of up to 75% off of both brand name and generic prescription medications. Businesses and other organizations can also partner up with us to provide sponsored cards to all their employees or members. If you’d like to find out more, you can drop us a line through our toll-free number at 888-277-3911 or send us an email at [email protected].