A lot has changed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in terms of what employees expect from their employers. One of the most dramatic changes we’ve seen is the new-found leverage employees gained over employers during The Great Resignation, which appears to be here to stay. And in what has been dubbed “The Great Reshuffle,” many of those employees who left their jobs in recent years are seeking out employment with companies who provide better benefits.
Of course, better benefits don’t just grow on trees. They tend to come at an added cost to the employer. As such, at least in the case of healthcare benefits, those employers (87% of them, by one calculation) in turn are looking for innovative alternatives to the offerings of old.
The health plans of the future feature a greater focus on member engagement; which is “a key driver of success for a health care navigation solution” according to Benefits Pro. But employers can’t really expect employees to be more proactive with their health benefits if those same employees face massive out-of-pocket costs to do so.
One possible solution to the challenge of high out-of-pocket costs is a Medical Expense Reimbursement Plans (MERP). Instead of paying top dollar for gold and platinum offerings (which still have prohibitively high deductibles and copays for many employees), employers can pair a MERP with a much less expensive high deductible health plan (HDHP). The MERP funds the employee’s cost up to the HDHP’s out-of-pocket max, and then the HDHP’s provider covers the rest.
It’s a smart alternative to the traditional model because employers tend to overpay for health insurance coverage by 15-40%. The savings from switching to an HDHP often cover all, or most, of the costs of self-insuring the MERP for those employers.
That’s why Nonstop is proud to offer a MERP as part of its healthcare solution. Not only do we tend to save employers 8-10% on premiums, we also dramatically reduce or outright eliminate out-of-pocket costs for employees, so they can use their health benefit as it’s meant to be used: as a preventive tool with first-dollar coverage, not an expensive last resort.