A friend of mine owns three wellness centers and employs 80 people. Yesterday, she told me that her health insurance broker made his yearly visit with a renewal policy where the premiums keep going up … and up … and up. In the decade she has been in business, premiums have never gone down. And her employees aren’t in any better health. She was ready to scream.
The movie Network flashed across my mind. In case you don’t know the movie, Peter Finch stars as an anchorman who is fed up with the system. Co-stars included Faye Dunaway and Robert Duvall. There’s a famous scene where Finch tells his audience to go to their windows and yell “I’m as Mad as Hell and I’m Not Going to Take it Anymore.” And people all over the country do just that.
If you’re fed up with the rising costs of healthcare, you’re not alone. Employers spend more than $600 billion a year on healthcare, and many have little to show for it except a P&L statement that is bleeding red ink. The line for Healthcare Expense keeps going up … and up … and up.
Until recently, there was nothing you could do about it. Well, now there is.
I say recently, but it’s actually been over a decade since the Health Savings Account was introduced. Some might call a decade a long time, but a recent poll showed that 74% of Americans don’t know what an HSA is. One reason is that insurance companies and brokers don’t want to tell you about them because HSAs need to be paired with High Deductible Health Plans, which have lower premiums than traditional plans. And since premiums are the same as revenue to an insurance company, lower premiums mean that they and their brokers (also known as “salespeople” or “producers”) make less money. They have a built-in incentive to keep these plans hidden, or at the very least, hard to understand.
But smart employers like Kraft Foods, Cummins Engine, and the State of Indiana are catching on. They are taking costs out by redesigning their health plans and changing the behavior of their employees. When people have “skin in the game,” they look more closely at where they are spending their money. There are more tools than ever to help all of us better navigate through the healthcare maze.
We at MMS have studied the success stories of leading companies that have transformed their healthcare stories, and we’re ready to help you profit from their experience. Go here to read a Wall Street Journal analysis of how you can save on healthcare costs. It’s called Two Essential Tools for Repairing the Obamacare Damage.
P.S. Here’s how one website described the movie Network: “In this lauded satire, veteran news anchorman Howard Beale (Peter Finch) discovers that he’s being put out to pasture, and he’s none too happy about it. After threatening to shoot himself on live television, instead he launches into an angry televised rant, which turns out to be a huge ratings boost …” To see a video clip of the movie, go here.