Three tips for keeping share costs low and members happy

June 10, 2021
Lindsey Logan

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As a health cost sharing group, it's important to keep costs low. Doing so helps maintain retention, improve member satisfaction, and decrease overall costs. Low share costs and less complex options will keep members more satisfied with your plan, while actually getting the care they need. Let’s dive into three ways you can actually lower sharing costs for members without sacrificing their quality of care or satisfaction.

Preventative care.

Preventative care aims to reduce chronic diseases and medical emergencies by detecting or treating health conditions sooner. Preventative care also means practicing healthy habits and being proactive about one’s health to avoid costly healthcare experiences down the road. When people have access to preventative care, their conditions are more likely to be found and managed before it becomes too serious. Examples of preventative care are:

- Routine visits to the doctor.

- Keeping up with immunizations.

- Necessary health screenings.

All these, and other preventative care, help people stay healthy without spending an arm and a leg. Four out of the five leading causes of death are preventable, and at a minimum, they’re manageable.

To make sure members get preventative care, find affordable and high-quality providers for your members to go to. Offer appointment scheduling that is simple to use. Better yet, partner with a third-party company that offers healthcare navigation services. You could even try direct primary care to make preventative care super easy. DPC works on a subscription basis that allows members to have as many appointments and calls with their direct primary care provider whenever they need.

Bill negotiation.

So what do you do when members aren’t proactive or have an emergency and get hit with a huge medical bill? Bill negotiation. Many people don’t know (or aren’t equipped) that they can actually lower their medical bills through various avenues and negotiations. Because of that, it would be worthwhile to your community’s sharing costs to hire a company that will negotiate bills on behalf of your members. For example, on average, our team of patient advocates helped lower medical bills by 44 percent. Even if you’re not ready to partner with a bill negotiation service, at least encourage your members to request an itemized bill after they receive treatment. Errors are frequently caught this way and this alone can save money and reduce sharing costs.

Digital tools.

Another way to reduce costs for your community is to use digital tools. Specifically, ones that allow your members to shop for non-emergency care. As we all know, there are huge price disparities between hospitals, clinics, and providers for the same exact procedures or services. For example, one man needed two MRIs and was quoted $9,000. This price seemed outrageous to him, so he decided to shop for other prices. He found an imaging center just half a mile down the road that quoted him $950 for both. Shopping for his care ended up saving him over $8,000. Digital tools that make shopping for care simple can make easy, affordable healthcare experiences a reality for your members. Plus, today’s consumers use digital tools for two-thirds of their shopping and purchasing. Your members will no longer be satisfied with difficult processes, or outdated tools to manage their healthcare. Access to digital will help your members save money and keep them happy.

Final thoughts.

Keeping sharing costs low doesn’t have to be difficult or reduce member satisfaction. Making it easy and affordable to practice preventative care, hiring a third-party organization to help negotiate members’ bills, and digital tools for healthcare shopping are all great ways to keep costs low while actually improving your health plan.

Download The Patient Advocacy 2.0 White Paper

Discover what health plan members had to say about the value of patient advocacy in our survey.

Download the Complete Guide to Growing Your Health Plan Membership

Learn the best strategies and tips for growing your members while keeping costs low.

Download the Complete Guide to Retaining Health Plan Members.

Learn the best strategies and tips for retaining your members while keeping costs low.

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