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MedBen Municipality Clients Experience Low 5-Year Cost Trend

04/07/16

  10:35:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 344 words,  
Categories: Announcements, Prescription, Incentives, Cost savings, MedBen University

MedBen Municipality Clients Experience Low 5-Year Cost Trend

Lindsay Kirk

MedBen publicly-funded clients have experienced a cost trend of just 9.3% from 2011 to 2015, according to information gathered as part of MedBen's annual benchmark work for clients. Brian Fargus, MedBen Vice President of Sales & Marketing, presented the data on medical costs at the company's 10th Annual Municipality Roundtable on Thursday, April 7 at the C. Arthur Morrow Conference Center in Newark, Ohio. The trend breaks down to only a 1.9% average per year.

"Municipalities traditionally have higher costs per employee than private sector health plans," Fargus said. "Working together, we've managed to narrow that gap considerably in the last five years."

Publicly-funded employers face special challenges in keeping health care costs down, such as union contracts that often require more benefit-rich health plans than typically offered by other businesses. But through strategic use of cost controls, the 18% plan cost difference in 2011 between MedBen's municipality block and its overall block shrunk to just 10% in 2015.

Throughout the roundtable, participants learned how simple changes made by municipalities have improved health care costs. In his discussion of pharmacy benchmarks, MedBen President & COO Kurt Harden showed how by covering the costs of prescribed over-the-counter drugs, an employer effectively minimized its pharmacy spending. And Regional Sales Manager Lindsay Kirk shared a success story in which a client has seen a significant three-year decline in health care costs after introducing financial incentives to their wellness program, MedBen WellLiving.

Frank Dosch, President of The Forker Company, described how one of his clients lowered health care spending by steering their plan members away from costlier metropolitan hospitals to facilities closer to home. "By offering better coinsurance for regional hospitals, you still give employees the choice to go where they want, but provide additional incentives for using local care, and save significant dollars,” Dosch said.

MedBen will be conducting additional seminars throughout the Midwest in 2016, with topics ranging from self-funding basics and worksite wellness to health care reform updates. If you're interested in attending an upcoming MedBen University, please contact MedBen Sales Analyst Sally Wood at (800) 423-3151, Ext. 502 or swood@medben.com to be added to our mailing list.

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