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What strategies have you tried to lower your company's healthcare costs?

James Bryant's Profile


Topic Expert
Wayne Spivak
Title: President & CFO
LinkedIn Profile
(President & CFO, |

I went to an HSA. The major med portion is 1/2, high deductible and contributions currently are tax deductible to the HSA account.

Topic Expert
Brenda Goudey
Title: CFO/VP of Finance
Company: KDR Designer Showrooms
(CFO/VP of Finance, KDR Designer Showrooms) |

We tried a high deductible plan with no copays and the company paying 50% of the deductible with an HRA, but it was immensely unpopular with the employees - the staff felt like they 'didn't have insurance' because they were expected to pay more than $20 at a doctor visit, even tho what they paid was going to deductible.

So, the following year we kept the high deductible and HRA features, but switched to a plan with copays for doctor visits and the grumbling has subsided. Of course, for those high utilization participants, they end up spending much more in a year because copays are not going to deductible.

Ray Calabrese
Title: Treasurer
Company: Interim Treasurer
(Treasurer, Interim Treasurer) |

You may want to consider self insurance. When you self insure, you own the downside and you can control your plan design.

Topic Expert
Linda Wright
Title: Consultant
Company: Wright Consulting
(Consultant, Wright Consulting) |

The HSA option definitely helped our employee based pay more attention to their costs. We also implemented several incentives including reduced costs for joining an onsite gym and watched the success of the participants. The data was slim annd perhaps non-conclusive for the first two years. At year five, we definitely observed a decline in out of the office illness days.

Robert Rochester
Title: VP & CFO
Company: Edcor Data Services LLC
(VP & CFO, Edcor Data Services LLC) |

We usually tinker with the plan design (e.g. raise co-pays, raise annual individual/family out-of-pocket maximums, eliminate features, raise Rx co-pays) or increase the amount the employee contributes (through payroll deduction). At the same time, we encourage employees to offset any increase in their costs by utilizing the health care FSA.

Dabney Wellford
Title: CFO
Company: Wellford Consulting
(CFO, Wellford Consulting) |


Whenever the premium increases, the only way to combat that is by raising the deductible or try another product. Either way, it tends to lessen the benefits and make your employees mad. I found a way around that by actually insuring the deductible, or a portion of it. It gives you first-dollar coverage and is indemnity-based, so you do not have to wait to file after major medical has paid. The 2 products work together to give the company a cheaper premium and the employee the same, or better benefit.

Rick Pumo
Title: Advisor
Company: Illinois Health
(Advisor, Illinois Health) |

High Deductible plans are a better value, but it is important to give employees the tools to be successful on those plans. Implementing programs that encourage employees to compare cost and quality is critical. Without that component, employees are simply shopping blindly and all we've done is transfer risk at their expense. If they can pick an MRI that costs $800 instead of the one that costs $1700, they will be much happier with their HSA. Same MRI machine. Same quality. Better control over costs.

Companies that self-insure generally see a 5% reduction in claims when they provide transparency tools that compare both cost and quality.


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