HSAs were established in 2003 as part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act. These savings accounts have become an increasingly popular option for employers seeking to manage their health care costs. Since they were introduced nearly 20 years ago, the number of employers that have offered them has also increased. Today nearly half of all employers offer an HSA high deductible health plan (HDHP) offering.
The excellent intention of these plans, within the HSA savings component, provided significant opportunities to make healthcare consumers better consumers of health-related services, and they have done that to some extent. Each year since it was introduced, deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums have increased. This compounding effect over time, in addition to a decrease in employer HSA contributions, has created a perverse effect with these offerings to employees.
It is true that some employees, especially those without children or large families, can save pre-tax money on health care expenses. These plans also benefit the top 3-5% of wage earners in the country; those who can afford a $3,000 deductible. However, that leaves 60% of the US population who are unable to afford a $1,000 health care bill, let alone a $3,000 health care bill. In addition, many employers have decreased the amount of funds contributed to employer HSA accounts with the goal of reducing their health care spend and liability.
This results in a large percentage of Americans who are gainfully employed full-time but are functionally uninsured. This means that they “check the box” of having health coverage, but for employees, it is like a homeowner’s policy that only covers claims over $10,000: it is used for catastrophic needs but leaves a gap when it comes to day-to-day necessities. This results in otherwise gainfully employed Americans struggling to manage the increasing costs for care.
As always happens in a capitalistic and entrepreneurial society, solutions are brought about to fill the gap. The gaps in this situation are the large deductibles that appear in health plans before the plan offers coverage. Subscription membership plans are not insurance at all; instead, these plans represent fee-based, non-risk membership programs that cover everyday care without deductibles, copayments, or confusing paperwork. The members pay a low monthly fee in exchange for care and prescriptions they need without worrying about the out-of-pocket costs of basic care and medications. ReviveHealth is a virtual care plan that provides these solutions and is filling this gap in all 50 States for members.
Today, any time an employee hears that they have an HSA HDHP, there is a collective groan of dissatisfaction. These HDHPs, when paired with a ReviveHealth membership, creates a more holistic offering for employee coverage. Employees have first dollar coverage for everyday care, while keeping the major medical catastrophic coverage for more serious health needs. Both are essential for Americans. One without the other only encourages incomplete care. Providing both offerings in a complementary manner empowers employers to reduce turnover and absenteeism, improve morale and satisfaction with their benefit plan and increase productivity.
Times have changed. Speak to your employer, broker, or consultant about these membership-based subscription plans today.
Jeff Bernhard, CEO