Below is an excerpt from an article by Goodroot CEO Mike Waterbury and Sola Health president Steve Palma that was recently published in BenefitsPRO.
“Why do I even have health insurance?” This is a question frequently asked by hard-working Americans who notice a significant portion of their pay being deducted for health benefits, yet still have additional costs when they go to the doctor or pick up their prescriptions.
In the current health care economy, employers at the mercy of large carriers are often faced with increasing premiums and deductibles and may feel helpless in easing the financial impact of health care on their employees.
Over the past decade health care costs have risen exponentially, and employers may be unaware that alternatives exist to offer high-quality, affordable care in the workplace. Now there’s a new urgency for employers to get up to speed as quickly as possible. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (CAA) will soon begin holding employers accountable for upholding their fiduciary responsibility and exploring insurance options that lower the cost of employee health care.
Word is circulating that the CAA may allow employees to sue employers if they don’t effectively manage their health care benefits. Even though the idea of employees taking legal action against their employers regarding health care benefits sounds terrible, if this interpretation is correct, it should have a positive effect on the health care industry.
Should employers be worried about this new eventuality? No, not all of them. Most employers want to help their people — they just don’t fully understand that they have options.
The new CAA guidelines will push employers and their brokers to explore other avenues that lower health care costs. It is simply establishing a framework to protect employees from medical debt — the leading cause of bankruptcy in the United States.