When reviewing health plans and evaluating cost, keep in mind health insurance wasn't designed to cover every penny related to health care.
Everything under the sun on an open credit card is nice, but not when you are paying the bill. But you are.
The purpose of insurance is to cover sudden very expensive losses. It's about making you whole again and not have the financial responsibility of a ton of money to do it. Somehow we all decided over the last 60 years that the traditional plan should pay for everything.
Health insurance is the only insurance product, for the most part, that pays for first dollar coverage like doctor visits and prescription drugs. The healthcare system gamed the system on the bigger bank account paying the bill, not the small guy. The tables have turned...
Employees are more responsible for their healthcare in paying more for premium dollars out of their check and higher costs. Employers should engage their employees in being more proactive in their healthcare. Here are a few ideas:
1) Don't run to the ER or the doctor visit for every little thing. What happened to home remedies or waiting to see the doctor instead of running to the ER? This will save you thousands in a year if you have kids.
2) Try saving money on medication by finding alternatives. Sometimes skipping the drug may not have an impact on your health, but keeps you coming back to the doctor. The other thing you can do is shop around. Just because they are convenient doesn't mean it is the most cost-effective.
3) Just because your doctor recommends a test, it doesn't mean you have to jump to it and have it done. The doctor went through many years of school, but they are also trying to run tests to protect them and get paid. Ask more questions to see if you feel it's the right thing. Just like you would if your mechanic suggested items. It's your money.
4) If you are scheduling a procedure, take a look around. Many new facilities are popping up to help reduce cost from outpatient testing to outpatient surgical facilities. The hospital isn't the cheapest. Far from it. This ends up driving the price up for you and the insurance company.
5) You do not need to go to a state of the art teaching hospital, for most thing. There are a time and place for the advanced care that some of the predominant teaching hospitals bring to the table. However, for most things people go through its overkill and overcharged.
In the end, it will end up costing you more money, either in out-of-pocket expenses or premium. There is no free lunch.