Employers who offer group health insurance plans to their employees have likely noticed increasing premiums in recent years. The cost of health care is rising, due to factors such as:
- tremendous growth in the population
- the aging Baby Boomer generation is placing a strain on health care services
- there is higher demand for health care overall
- more people qualify for Medicaid, placing strain on public services
- prices of prescription medications are rising
- the number of health care providers is limited
In the future, you may face tough choices on how to manage your bottom line. Should you increase prices, and risk driving away customers, in order to comply with with Affordable Care Act and retain valuable employees? Should you choose a group health insurance plan with higher deductibles, in exchange for lower premiums, and transfer more of the cost to your employees? Or is there another way to manage health insurance premiums while providing this important benefit to your workers? Employers face increasingly difficult choices as they try to keep both their customers and employees happy.
As consumer demands change, so do products. The insurance industry is scrambling to adjust to changing needs, so we are likely to see new types of health insurance plans emerging in the next few years.
In the future, business owners may be able to choose group health insurance policies that function like a 401(k) plan. Each employee will be allotted an “allowance” to spend on health care, and will be offered a menu of health insurance options. Employees will be happy to have more control over their own health care decisions, and business owners will be able to provide the plans that make their workers happy. And when people receive only the options they truly need, costs could be lower for everyone.
As a business owner, it can be stressful to balance the needs of your customers with the needs of your employees, all while keeping an eye on your bottom line. But remember that as the health insurance industry is placed under increasing demand, the power of human innovation will propel us forward into this new age of improved health care for all.