On this episode of the podcast, Terry and Bob discuss Health Plan Heroes, a new initiative by Patients Rising to identify employers who are expanding access to care while lowering costs for patients – without destroying their profitability in the process. It’s no secret that the cost of healthcare benefits is skyrocketing, hurting patients and businesses alike. 

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports that average employer-sponsored family health insurance in 2021 was $22,221, roughly a 25 percent increase since 2015. These costs saddle patients with high monthly premiums and medical debt. (Terry and Bob note the good news this week that the nation’s major credit rating agencies have agreed to strip medical debt from consumers’ credit reports.)

Some employers are bucking this cost trend, however. They have terminated costly traditional employer health plan relationships characterized by brokers and high kickbacks in favor of independent benefit advisors who work with employers’ and employees’ best interests in mind. These Health Plan Heroes are reducing costs and expanding access, including offering care at no deductibles and prescription drug coverage for $1 a month. They are trailblazers who have diverged from the cookie-cutter approach. These employers include: 

Terry and Bob explain how these Health Plan Heroes are not acting on altruism. Their plans benefit their businesses as well. Offering these benefit plans can attract and retain top talent in a tight labor market. Businesses can have a healthier and more productive workforce. They can save significantly on healthcare compared to their competitors. And they can enhance their corporate reputation with the use of the Health Plan Hero logo and publicity from receiving the award. 

Kate interviews Sheridan Keck, the spouse of an employee at Matheny Motors, who explains how she had no deductible during her breast cancer journey. She highlighted how refreshing it was to just show up for her appointments without worrying about health insurance. She mentioned all she had to do was focus on getting better. 

Kate also talks with Brittaney Medders, an employee of Johns Soules, who explains how nice it was to have her navigator help her stop paying out of pocket. These Health Plan Heroes are the vanguard of long-overdue American healthcare solutions. 

Listen to $1 Prescriptions: The Future of Health Insurance