In 2014, the average person with a single-coverage, employer-sponsored plan had a $1217 deductible.1
According to a recent Commonwealth Fund study, more than 20% of insured adults ages 19-54 spend at least 5 percent of their income on out-of-pocket medical costs – not including premiums. Of that same group, 13% spend at least 10 percent of their income.2
So how are Americans keeping up with the rising burden of health care costs? Well, the bad news is that many of them aren’t. In fact, a major study by Harvard estimates 62.1% of all bankruptcies were due to medical costs.3
With the right guidance, however, you can help your employees prepare. Recommend these three steps:
- Step 1: Know Your Benefits – Many employees aren’t sure what their benefits cover or how much visits and procedures will cost. Because costs can vary widely, it’s a smart idea to shop around just like you would for a new appliance or vehicle. Make sure they know about cost estimator tools.
- Step 2: Get No-Cost Support – If your company offers no-cost health support, such as a Nurseline or Advocacy program, spread the word. Encourage employees to call when they have non-emergency symptoms to find out if seeing the doctor is the right approach or if there is a lower cost alternative such as an online doctor visit. These services can redirect people from the ER to more appropriate and affordable care.
- Step 3: Get an HSA – With a high-deductible health plan, it’s important to prepare for both expected and unexpected medical costs. Encourage your employees to open a health savings account (HSA) through OptumBank.com. They’ll benefit from a triple tax savings:
- The money you put in is tax deductible or pre-tax if you use payroll deductions.
- Your savings grow income tax free.
- You don’t have to pay income taxes on withdrawals used for qualified medical expenses.
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