As the cost of health care increases, the cost of health insurance and employer-sponsored health coverage also increases. While potential changes to the Affordable Care Act might slow the increases, other factors unrelated to the ACA will continue to lead to higher costs, including technological advances in medicine, the cost of research and development of new prescription drugs, and increases in administrative costs for healthcare providers. Employers cannot affect those costs, but there are approaches and tools that might slow increases in the cost of employer-sponsored health coverage. Those approaches and tools include self-funded health coverage; alternative approaches to insured coverage; use of high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts (HSAs); strategic benefit design based on careful analysis of employee demographics and claims experience; use of retiree-only plans; conditional coverage of spouses; narrow networks; addition of a “centers of excellence” program; reference-based pricing; prescription drug plans with tiered pricing and step therapy requirements or with categorical exclusions; telemedicine; and onsite clinics, among others.
Please join Christine Williams, senior counsel at Perkins Coie, as she explains these potential cost savers and how to avoid compliance problems when implementing and administering them.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN
This is just some of what we will cover:
- Is self-funding health coverage realistic for smaller employers?
- What are minimum premium arrangements and retrospective rating arrangements?
- What is a high-deductible health plan and are there limits on the deductibles?
- How do HSAs work and how can they save money for an employer-sponsored health plan?
- How much leeway does an employer have in designing a package of health plan benefits that is tailored to its workforce?
- What is a retiree-only plan and how can it reduce health coverage costs?
- Options for coverage of spouses
- How does a “centers of excellence” program, or reference-based pricing, work?
- Is an accountable care organization a realistic option?
- What are the risks involved in telemedicine programs?
- What compliance obligations apply to onsite clinics?
- AND MUCH MORE!
YOUR CONFERENCE LEADER
Your conference leader for “Cost-Saving Strategies for Employer-Sponsored Health Plans: Options and Issues” is Christine Williams. Ms. Williams has worked in the employee benefits field since 1987, both in private practice and as in-house counsel to a Fortune 100 company, and recently founded HealthPlanPlainTalk.com, an online resource for benefit plan sponsors and employee benefit professionals. She has extensive experience with all types of health and welfare plans, and was the editor and a contributing author of HIPAA Portability, Privacy, & Security, published by the Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA), a division of Thomson Reuters, and is now a contributor to that publication. She was a contributing author of Health Care Reform for Employers and Advisors, also published by EBIA. She has provided advice on HIPAA, health care reform, and benefit plan compliance to a wide range of health plans, employers that sponsor health plans, and business associates, and she regularly teaches seminars for employee benefit professionals. Before moving into employee benefits, Ms. Williams was a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and an assistant professor at the University of Maryland School of Law. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Kentucky College of Law.