The biggest challenge the Employee Benefits Council faces is keeping health care affordable while maintaining and even increasing the benefits available under the plan. It’s a constant process of looking at what people really use, what is cost effective to provide and bearing in mind that even small increases in costs can have disproportionate impacts on lower wage workers.
OHSU is self-insured and our health insurance rates are a direct result of usage plus an administration fee. There’s really nothing else to it. The more the health plan is used the more it costs.
The less healthy we are, the more we use the plan, and costs go up.
There are many approaches to having a healthier workforce – providing tools for chronic disease management, smoking cessation programs, encouraging exercise and healthier eating.
Another way to contain costs is by early detection of risk factors which may be treated before they escalate to far more expensive illnesses.
Early treatment of high blood pressure with medication is far less expensive than treating stroke victims in the ICU, for one example.
In order to encourage early detection the EBC has agreed that by getting a simple biometric screening, plan participants will be exempted from a 5% surcharge on health benefits.
The biometric screening that will be available would cost about $100 if the test was done on normal PPO insurance. Plan members will not be charged for the screening. The screening we are using is designed to be as noninvasive as possible and still get enough information to aid in early detection and prevention of chronic illness.
The health information obtained by the screening is not accessible by OHSU, they will not get any of the results.
We value our members’ health and we know that we can best provide health insurance security for members and their families into the future by having a healthier workforce.
Regular screenings are an important part of a plan for personal self care. We are also trying to encourage healthy eating by offering free salads to employees once a month in the hope that this one meal will start to raise awareness of the critical role of diet in long term health.
By getting a simple biometric screening you can avoid the 5% surcharge and take a major step toward protecting your health