Monday, Oct 23, 2023

Traditional Health Insurers Don’t Want You To Know This

Fred TurnerChief Executive Officer, Curative


Traditional health plans have long presented themselves as the guardians of the American healthcare consumer, ensuring access to quality care and protection against unforeseen medical costs. However, what the status quo insurers might not want you to know is the glaring reality: they fail to deliver genuine value to insured Americans and to the American businesses that invest so heavily in them. For many within our industry, the system's deficiencies are all too familiar, yet recent findings underscore the desperate need for a paradigm shift. Our current employer-sponsored health insurance may be more of a liability than a lifeline for both insureds and their sponsoring employers.

In October 2023, Curative took the initiative to delve deeper into this issue. Collaborating with the Health Analytics and Insight Group, we commissioned a study to gauge the real experiences of employees under these employer-sponsored health plans. The primary focus was to assess the impact of cost-sharing - including deductibles, copays, and coinsurance - on healthcare utilization, outcomes, and access to care.

The findings were startling: the status quo employer-sponsored health plans are grossly inadequate and fail to deliver on their promise to employers or employees.

High deductibles and cost-sharing are revealed to be the major culprits. Employees under these plans are finding it difficult, if not impossible, to shoulder their portion of the healthcare costs. They are burdened with confusion regarding out-of-pocket costs and where to access affordable care. The result? A significant number opt to either delay or completely avoid seeking care, ultimately leading to worse health outcomes. Because medical issues are not dealt with early, in a preventative way, patients instead wait for the problem to escalate into a catastrophic health issue that results in an ER visit or hospitalization.

A closer look at the survey results:

  • Nearly 50% of the employees expressed concerns over managing healthcare expenses in the event of a severe medical incident or diagnosis of a chronic condition.
  • 40% confessed to utilizing their savings or incurring personal debt to meet out-of-pocket healthcare expenses.
  • A troubling 33% of employees postponed medical care in the past year due to anticipated cost burdens.
  • About 31% acknowledged having debt resulting from unaffordable healthcare services, and this percentage surged to 46% for those with deductibles exceeding $1,000.
  • Among those with HDHPs (High Deductible Health Plans defined as a deductible >$3000), 65% avoided preventive care, while 43% neglected their medication regimens.
  • 71% of employees with HDHPs reported absenteeism due to health issues, severely impacting their work performance, compared to 44% among those not on HDHPs.

Read those numbers one more time. These are hardworking people with insurance whose employers think they are giving them benefits. 

Ultimately, these numbers paint the picture of a vicious cycle in traditional health plans:

  1. Lack of Affordability & Clarity: High and unpredictable expenses are combined with a maze-like system.
  2. Worse Health, Productivity, and Financial Outcomes: Delayed care exacerbates health issues, financial burdens, and job performance. 
  3. Waning Trust: Health insurance is perceived negatively, often associated with crises rather than proactive value.
  4. Conditioned Avoidance: Employees are progressively conditioned to avoid care, becoming increasingly disillusioned with a system that should be engaging them early in prevention.

It’s time to break this cycle and create a new, affordable, and simple pathway for employees. For timely, accessible, and affordable care, we must embrace innovative strategies to break down the financial barriers that exist in today’s health plans and ensure employees are able to take care of their health without breaking the bank. 

This is what we’re doing at Curative. Members can confidently access their benefits whenever they need care, without financial stress or worry. With $0 copays, $0 deductibles, and $0 drug options for nearly every condition, Curative offers a plan that employees can rely on. We recognize each member is unique, with healthcare needs as diverse as their life experiences. Upfront Baseline Visits tailor healthcare solutions to individual requirements, and Care Navigators empower employees to make the most of their health plans and take control of their health journeys.

This approach not only makes more sense but saves everyone money in the long run. By ensuring that members get care when they need it, health problems are addressed earlier, preventing them from escalating into bigger, more costly health issues down the road. Members feel confident in prioritizing their well-being and secure in knowing that their financial stability remains intact. 

We're not just health insurers; we’re partners in health. We are committed to reshaping the narrative around what health insurance can be, and we invite you to be part of this transformation. Together, we can redefine what health insurance means, and deliver real value as employees lead healthier, more productive, and financially secure lives.

About Curative: Curative is a leading healthcare services company that created and launched the first-of-its-kind employer-based health insurance plan. Founded in 2020, Curative reengineered insurance by providing unmatched simplicity, enhanced engagement, and cost transparency with a competitive monthly premium and zero additional costs for in-network services.

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