Hiring employees is an essential part of growing a business. Unfortunately, doing so brings with it a host of additional operating expenses, not the least of which is the cost of health insurance. Many businesses overpay on health insurance, leaving them in search of more cost-effective alternatives. However, these businesses are often concerned that alternatives may offer subpar coverage. At Health Compass Consulting, we’ve put together this guide to help businesses understand how health insurance alternatives can work for them.

Why Choose a Health Insurance Alternative?

There are several basic advantages that all health insurance plan alternatives have over traditional health insurance. Health insurance plan alternatives are generally cheaper than their marketplace health plan counterparts. This advantage enables companies to save significant amounts of money on employee-related expenses, especially when these companies acquire the discounts of a pooled plan that covers all employees.

One of the things that make these cost savings possible is the flexibility associated with health insurance plan alternatives. Many of these alternatives are specialized in a certain area of care, enabling businesses and individuals to pick the care options that are most relevant to them. If one area of care is particularly relevant to a prospective policyholder, they can acquire exceptional coverage for it at a fraction of the cost that it would be in the health insurance marketplace.

What Are the Best Health Insurance Alternatives?

Before you can determine whether or not health insurance plan alternatives offer coverage comprehensive enough to rival or best a traditional insurance plan, it is important to first take note of each type of health insurance plan alternative and what they have to offer. There are many facets of health care as well as corresponding benefits that are covered by traditional insurance that must be considered when choosing an alternative.
If businesses and individuals are going to venture into unfamiliar territory and outside the healthcare marketplace, it is critical that they approach the process with a detailed understanding of each option so as not to jeopardize themselves or their employees. Traditional health insurance plans offer an array of benefits for various situations, so it is only natural to expect similar from the alternatives. Here are several of the best health insurance plan alternatives.

Primary Care Memberships

The first health insurance plan alternative is known as a primary care membership and provides those without health insurance plans with compelling across a wide array of services, such as access to a primary care physician, routine doctor visits, pediatric care, blood tests, other lab work, prescriptions, urgent care, and more typically at a fraction of the price that these services would be available at on the health insurance marketplace. Some memberships even offer up to 80% off prescriptions.
Due to the comprehensive coverage on offer combined with the affordable cost with no co-pay, primary care memberships are often thought to be the best health insurance plan alternative. Interested parties can acquire a primary care membership by contacting a medical practice or primary care physician and paying a monthly fee.

Medical Cost-Sharing Programs

The next health insurance plan alternative is known as a medical cost-sharing program. In this arrangement, a group of businesses or individuals effectively combine their policies and pay into a fund that covers the insurance needs of all members of the program. Essentially, each member is paying something comparable to premiums on traditional health insurance plans and gets reimbursement from the pool of funds paid by all members when they need medical care.

When a member needs medical care, they must pay an incident fee, which is similar to a co-pay, and the rest is paid from the medical cost-sharing program fund. This health insurance plan alternative is especially potent when used by a business to reduce the costs of employee health care benefits. By pooling their resources with other businesses, they can easily offset the high cost of employees with preexisting conditions with the lower costs of healthier employees in the pool.

Medical Services Discount Cards

Another popular health insurance plan alternative is medical services discount cards. These cards enable interested parties to gain access to large discounts of up to 80%. However, these discount cards generally do not cover what would be considered primary care, leaving those who rely upon this option with significant gaps in their coverage. These cards tend to only cover discounts on services such as chiropractic work, dentistry, and prescriptions.

For that reason, many who rely on these cards use them to supplement either a traditional health insurance plan or a primary care membership, which is one of our previously mentioned health insurance plan alternatives. Combining medical services discount cards is a great way to unlock additional savings on top of those gained by having a primary care membership while still retaining comprehensive coverage.

Indemnity Insurance

Another health insurance plan alternative is known as indemnity insurance. Indemnity insurance works similarly to medical services discount cards by providing policyholders with discounts. However, unlike medical services discount cards, indemnity insurance works with primary care. Each time a policyholder receives medical service, such as by visiting their primary care physician or having a stay at the hospital, the policy will pay a portion of the bill.

Like medical services discount cards, indemnity insurance is recommended as a supplement that can add additional savings to a more comprehensive insurance package or health insurance plan alternative because it only helps pay a portion of the bill and is best used only for primary care.

Catastrophic Policies

The last popular health insurance plan alternative we’ll discuss is catastrophic policies. Catastrophic policies are low premium high deductible policies that are designed to be useful in the event of an excessive medical expense due to a major injury or illness. For those reasons, this health insurance plan alternative is a great way for policyholders to keep their premiums low if they generally do not expect to incur a significant amount of medical expenses due to chronic health concerns.

Unfortunately, catastrophic policies are not available to anyone above the age of 30 unless an applicant manages to qualify for a hardship exemption. To qualify, applicants need to exhibit hardship due to things such as a death in the family or economic hardship.

Common Things That Health Insurance Alternatives Cover

One of the most common concerns that businesses and individuals have with health insurance plan alternatives is that they do not know if they can offer coverage that is comprehensive enough to make them a safe and viable alternative to traditional health insurance policies for themselves or their employees. Fortunately, the health insurance plan alternatives that are available have evolved to encompass an array of coverage options and features that traditional insurance policyholders will be familiar with.

The coverage options offered by health insurance plan alternatives range from basic to advanced care, encompassing a wide array of needs and making them suitable for a wide range of businesses and individuals who are seeking to reduce their health insurance costs.

Prescriptions

Those with existing conditions are often put on prescriptions by their primary care physician. Health insurance plan alternatives enable policyholders to take advantage of prescriptions at an affordable rate of up to 80% off the initial price. Those with a primary care membership can also pick up their prescriptions from pharmacies or other locations that are within the network associated with their membership, similarly to those with traditional marketplace health insurance plans.

Lab Testing

Lab testing covers an array of work, such as blood tests and similar work that require a sample from a patient to be sent for examination. Those with a primary care membership can also enjoy these services just as they would on a traditional health insurance plan. Medical services discount cards can also be applied to lab testing work to grant businesses and individuals additional savings.

Preventive Care

Preventive care and wellness services are perhaps the most often services associated with a primary care facility. Preventive care includes routine checkups that cover a wide array of tests and screenings that vary based on the age of the policyholder. These tests commonly include things such as blood pressure screening, cholesterol screening, diet counseling, and more.

Primary care specialists perform these tests to catch issues before they become a problem. Primary care memberships and indemnity insurance are great health insurance plan alternatives that enable businesses and individuals to access preventive care at a primary care provider for a fraction of the cost of traditional health insurance.

Dental Care

Dental care is an area where health insurance plan alternatives offer an opportunity that traditional health insurance does not. Traditional health insurance plans generally do not include dental coverage in their base package. Traditionally, dental coverage is often available as part of an additional coverage package or not at all.

Those taking advantage of health insurance plan alternatives can use medical services discount cards to receive discounts of up to 80% on their dental care, granting businesses and individuals exceptional dental coverage without the costs of enhanced traditional insurance packages.

Emergency Care

Emergency care covers emergency room visits, hospital stays, or similar activities due to a sudden incident that demands medical attention. Such activities are covered by primary care memberships and indemnity insurance.
As you can see, health insurance alternatives offer competitive coverage that rivals and — in some cases — surpasses that of traditional insurance for both businesses and individuals. To learn more, contact Health Compass Consulting today and reduce your healthcare expenses!

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