One important trend to be mindful of in the ACA landscape is the shifting of healthcare costs from employers to employees. This shift is the result of a growing concern for rising healthcare costs and the potential for employer exposure to new taxes and fines enacted by the ACA. In preparation for the introduction of the Cadillac Tax in 2018, for example, many employers have already or will be introducing consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) with some organizations converting to full-replacement plans to reduce their exposure to the tax. While this trending cost-shifting strategy could help organizations conserve resources, it also places more financial responsibility on employees due to the higher deductibles, which may cause a significant coverage and financial gap for many workers, who may have limited savings available to cover emergency expenses.
Most employers realize the increased financial burden they are placing on employees through these benefit offerings and are seeking out ways to prepare employees for the change while showing they care about the employees’ financial well-being. Offering a comprehensive suite of voluntary benefits can be a cost-effective way to ease the financial burden and help employees in satisfying higher deductibles, providing an expanded “safety net” of coverage for individuals and their families. Voluntary benefit products such as critical illness, hospital indemnity and whole life from providers like Aflac allow employees to protect themselves and their families in time of need, helping them to cover expenses that may extend beyond the scope of their standard health plan.
Listen to this podcast to learn more about how you can help to close the deductible gap for your employees and empower them to become better-informed healthcare consumers.