Which Benefits Strategies Would Be Best Used in Your Workplace? By: Michael Haffey | January 31, 2020 With so many employee benefits strategies in the marketplace today, it’s nearly impossible to compare all of your options efficiently, never mind understand which offerings are right for you. That said, there are some emerging trends among employers that are worth considering as you explore new ways to attract and retain quality talent. The New Individual Coverage HRA: This new, modern model of employer-sponsored health insurance allows employers to reimburse employees for the purchase of individual health insurance coverage. Available as of January 2020, this new program called ICHRA is very simple – employees choose the carrier, the plan, the benefits, and the network that best fits their personal situation. And perhaps, most importantly, under this model, the health insurance is “portable” since it is an individual policy owned by the individual employee, which means that it follows the employee should they separate from their employer at any point in time. Direct Primary Care: In a nutshell, direct primary care is a model for delivering primary care, and only primary care. Direct Primary Care patients have direct, unlimited access to their primary care physicians with longer appointment times and no insurance billing. For services that aren’t covered under the fee, the patient’s insurance is billed to pay for the service. Employers can reimburse employees for all or a portion of the direct primary care monthly fee. This new benefit has tremendous value to employees since it provides affordable and convenient access to basic health care. Reference-Based Pricing: Today’s provider payment pricing model is flawed. Hospitals and other healthcare providers start with an artificially inflated cost, and from there, a health plan negotiates a significant “discount” through their network contracts. In question are: 1. whether this is a good deal; and 2. if starting with an artificially inflated price could ever result in a good deal for insured members. Fortunately, the HHS rule effective January 1, 2021, will mandate that hospitals publish their rates and fees. This new price transparency will open the door for more employers to implement “reference-based pricing”, and creates predictability allowing underwriters to better predict claims and set insurance rates. If you have questions about which benefits strategies would be best used in your workplace, be sure to visit www.pendella.com/techserve to learn more and to schedule to speak with a dedicated Benefits Advisor.