CNTA Health Insurance Update

Insurance Benefits are currently out for bid for next year. Updated information will be shared as it becomes available in the next couple of months.

Some Insurance Committee members attended the 20th Annual CPHCC (Connecting People and Protecting Health Care Value Conference). The following information obtained at the conference may be interesting and helpful to members.

– Insurance Plan Premiums are heavily influenced by the average age of the employees within the pool. When comparing premiums to other similar plans it is important to keep in mind that usage and average employee age are a large part of the equation. Brokers look at the demographics and usage of a group when they enter into a contract. If enrollment numbers within plans are equal, the average age of the group is a significant determinant in setting their rates. For example, if Hope District has an average age of 30 and Wishful District has an average age of 40, Wishful District Insurance rates would be approximately 20% higher.

– Wellness Programs- Many companies are developing Wellness Programs to help improve employee health.

– Generic Drugs- Many drugs will be generic beginning in 2020, so keep your eyes out for changes!

– Prescription Drugs- Brand name drugs are the greatest costs for insurance plans. You can ask if the drug that you are taking has a generic. The cost will be less.

– Opioids- Opioids are very expensive and addicting. Doctors will prescribe them for pain and after surgery. If you are having surgery or in pain, ask your doctor about cheaper, less addicting alternatives.

– Emergency Room vs. Urgent Care- Urgent Care Centers provide many of the same services as emergency rooms, but they do not have the same pricing schedules or wait times. If you have severe chest pain, severe abdominal pain, shortness of breath, poisoning, and allergic reactions, you should go to the emergency room. However, if you have a fever without a rash, ear pain, painful urination, sore throat, or minor trauma such as a common sprain or shallow cut, you can go to Urgent Care to be treated.