(By Louis Toffoli)
In the United States, paying for healthcare takes more than just a group plan that your company puts together. Hospital bills can put employees in deep financial troubles even with a standard insurance plan, and helping them can have long term benefits for both of you.
There will need to be some added assistance in helping your employees manage their hospital bills. Whether it’s reducing the costs or avoiding them altogether, the assistance you provide will make a significant impact on your employees’ lives.
This article will cover the impacts that hospital bills have on employees and how you can help them.
The Effects of Hospital Bills on Americans
It’s no secret that hospital bills can have a devastating impact on many of our lives. Medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcies in the United States. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation study, more than 1 in 4 Americans had trouble paying their medical bills.
Anyone can be affected by the costs of hospital bills, even those that are deemed financially responsible. It is not uncommon for someone to lose their savings if they develop a chronic condition. Finding ways to reduce the impacts of these hospital bills has never been more critical than now. Employees need help managing the costs of these hospital bills and keeping themselves financially secure.
Helping to reduce these bills is not easy, but the improvement in employees’ lives can’t be understated. They will be less stressed in the workplace, remain loyal employees, and improve their productivity.
Employees Feel More Supported
When people are left with large hospital bills, they can feel alone in the situation and are looking for help. In a survey completed by AIMS Public Health, there is a serious link between medical bills and suffering from poor mental health.
By offering support to your employees, they will be motivated to return that support in the form of loyalty to the company. There are three things that every employer should do when helping employees manage large hospital bills.
Those three things are:
- Educate: As a preventative step, employees should know how to navigate the United States healthcare system and find in-network medical care. Employees should also know how to read medical bills, looking for any mistakes in the document.
- Discuss HSA and HRA Arrangements: Illness or injuries can happen at any time. Setting up health savings or reimbursement plans can make unexpected large medical expenses more manageable.
- Offer Medical Billing Advocate Services: A medical billing advocate will ensure that any medical bill is accurate and help discuss employees’ options. A medical billing advocate will negotiate for the best options for your employees.
There are two basic approaches that you can take to support your employees:
Help Lower Hospital Bill Costs
Lowering medical bills can be done by spotting billing errors, negotiating with healthcare providers, and finding a suitable payment plan. (Something we at Zupnick Associates pride ourselves on.)
Help Employees Cope with Expenses
When lowering hospital bills aren’t an option, helping employees cope with these bills is the next best option. This help could be finding financial stress support groups or offering wellness-centered employee health benefits.
Employee Retention and Medical Bills
When employees are hit with large medical expenses, their desire to work and productivity take a plunge. They will lose motivation as the majority of their paychecks will pay off a large expense. You must help employees early and help them manage their financial situation. As the hospital bills continue to mount, their productivity will continue to decline as the stress builds in their lives.
How You Can Help:
Implementing financial literacy courses and better / wellness-centered employee benefits can give employees a sense of confidence. A plan that employees can easily follow will reduce the feelings of hopelessness during these trying times.
Employee retention has never been so important, with the Great Resignation sweeping across the United States in every industry. If you want to improve the retention rate of employees, helping them with their medical and hospital bills is an excellent way.
Employee healthcare costs are a sore subject for millions of Americans who are struggling to pay back their debt. As an employer, it is your responsibility to help your employees as much as possible, including large medical expenses. Whether you are negotiating the bills or just offering support, your employees will thank you for it.