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Employer premiums and deductibles have risen more rapidly than wages since 2010.

It’s immediately evident that employers—and those who often bear the brunt of health insurance costs for their employees—continue to pay more year over year. What is not clearly evident is the way(s) for employers to navigate these annual price hikes without sacrificing their entire benefit offerings. 

As a result, many businesses pivot to High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) offerings, which have lower premiums per employee, but require employees to use out-of-pocket dollars for non-premium expenditures. 

To paint a better picture of how popular these plans have become, HDHPs have grown by 43% over the past five years, with 51% of the national workforce being enrolled in one. However, this “solution” can be viewed as a mere band-aid on a bullet wound as it leaves segments of employee populations underinsured. 

In other cases, companies choose to offer their employees a fewer number of plans. This “one-size-fits-all” approach reverse-engineers the cost-savings process, making total employee-related health costs more predictable. Not unrelated to the underinsured issue, typical silver and bronze plans offered may be right for the 27-year-old new hire, but not the 63-year-old employee approaching Medicare. Just ask yourself: has any one-size-fits-all piece of clothing ever fit you as well as a tailor-made garment?

Efforts to mitigate this “reduced benefits” model have resulted in employers offering reimbursement accounts, such as FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs—all of which fall under the umbrella term of “cafeteria benefits”. Employees can leverage these benefits to help offset their out-of-pocket medical expenses, however, these account plans do have their limitations. While they help remedy the HDHP dilemma, dollar limits are usually set by the employer and are rarely enough to cover even the majority of annual out-of-pocket expenses, let alone all of them. 

The primary perk of these cafeteria plans is they empower employees to turn a taxable cash benefit (i.e., higher salaries) into an nontaxable benefit. This can then be used to pick their desired out-of-pocket medical choices à la carte. 

Empowering employees to select the care coverage that’s right for them is a novel idea. So much so that it begs the question, “Why can’t this be the case for health insurance as a whole?”

Well, thanks to YourWay Frontier from OneBridge Benefits, it can.

No longer do employers need to worry about subsidizing costs and offering lesser-desired plans, or limiting their plan options, every year when Open Enrollment begins. With two simple steps, OneBridge Benefits turns the ideal à la carte vision into a beneficial reality that’s great for employers and perfect for employees.

1

Put money into employees’ health benefit accounts.

2

Employees use that money to buy their own health insurance on the open market.

OneBridge administers the rest, guides employees along the way, and serves as the premier solution to several large issues associated with traditional group health plan offerings. 

Underinsured populations?

No longer a concern. Employees leverage employer contributions to determine the plan that’s best for them and their dependents. They can choose a platinum plan with higher premiums and less out-of-pocket expenses and better plan elective surgeries, or, with cleaner bills of health, opt for a bronze plan and save any unused Frontier funds to cover future out-of-pocket health expenses. 

One-size-fits-all complaints?

With complete control over what plan suits their individual lifestyles, employees gain tailor-fit healthcare coverage. 

Out-of-pocket expenses?

YourWay Frontier works just like an HRA. Unused funds for primary coverage now can be used for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses later. 

In short, the future of healthcare isn’t rooted in savings—it’s rooted in choice. Take the first step today in modernizing your coverage by speaking with our YourWay Frontier implementation specialist, Ben Indelicato.