Starting in 2015, my company will be using an outcomes-based health care plan. This simply means that by meeting certain biometric goals, I will receive incentive credits that can be used to offset my health insurance costs. Sounds great right? There’s more to the story.
Money for metrics
The goals involve achieving a certain BMI, blood sugar level, blood pressure level, and being nicotine free. If both my wife and I meet the required levels for each metric, we will earn a few thousand dollars that will offset our medical expenses and insurance premiums. We are both in decent shape, so why wouldn’t this be great news? Part of the new plan also includes a 10% increase in my monthly insurance premium as well as a 100% increase in my deductible.
I think the new plan will only be slightly more beneficial than the old plan for us, but hey I’ll take it. I actually love the idea of motivating people to be healthy by using monetary rewards. Some see it as a penalty for those who don’t meet the standard. Others see it as encouragement and as a reward for progressing toward a healthier lifestyle.
Self-insured vs Obamacare-mandated insurance exchanges
Like most large corporations, the company I work for self-insures. Under Obamacare, the company as a whole could potentially save millions of dollars if it scrapped its self-insured plan and switched to the new insurance exchanges. Why wouldn’t a company make the switch for millions of dollars in savings? Because they have a heart (so they tell us)!
Under the exchanges, the company would save money, but employee health insurance premiums would increase by 145%! ONE HUNDRED FORTY FIVE PERCENT! That’s $7,000 more annually than I’m paying now, just in premiums. Thankfully, we are not going that route.
So my employer is taking one for the team, but Obamacare requires that self-insurers keep their healthcare costs under a certain level by 2018. If they don’t, they will have to pay some HEFTY fees to the government. To avoid those fees, they are rolling out the new outcomes-based health care plan. The theory is that company healthcare costs will fall if they can motivate us to be healthy.
People are getting healthier
From my perspective, it seems like a great way to go. I’ve noticed people all around me shedding pounds and becoming more fit, all for some extra cash. Others are choosing not to change their lifestyle, which I support, but they will unfortunately have to pay cash for that choice.
What do you think about an outcomes-based healthcare approach? Would you be motivated?