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Employers’ Solutions to Rising Healthcare Costs

Employers’ Solutions to Rising Healthcare Costs

The Boeing Company has decided to pool employees from three locations, Charleston, South Carolina; St. Louis, Missouri; and Seattle, Washington to continue to provide quality healthcare options for its employees. This initiative started not as a cost-cutting measure, rather a way to stop healthcare cost increases. Boeing proactively pursued healthcare systems that would provide their employees premium services without costing them more than their previous provider plans.

Narrower Network Provides Lower Costs to Employees

This narrow-network plan requires workers seek primary care from a limited selection of doctors, laboratories, and hospitals. In return, employees will see a decrease in their premiums, pay nothing for generic drugs, and have zero costs for primary-care office visits. This isn’t a health insurance plan being forced onto them, but an added option amongst their current healthcare provider plans.

Boeing Negotiates Healthcare Plans for Employees Directly

Companies tend to hire consultants to broker healthcare plans and prices for their employees. Bucking business trends and previous company policy, Boeing negotiated directly with providers in the three cities that their employees are located. Mercy met their needs in St. Louis, Providence-Swedish Health Alliance in Seattle, and Roper St. Francis Health Alliance for the Charleston area.

Boeing’s Large Employee Base Provides Leverage with Healthcare Systems

Due in part to Boeing’s market share and value as a business, healthcare systems see the need in winning their business. With over 25,000 employees in California, Pennsylvania, and Texas, expect to see Boeing commit to narrow-network options for their workforce there as well. They have the incentive of cost-cutting while maintaining their employees satisfaction through various methods of measurement.

Healthcare Plans Are Important to Labor Organizations

In many union shops healthcare benefits are critical to labor negotiations. Due to this bureaucratic process only non-union workers have been given access to these new narrow-network plans. As a result of trying to find equal trade-offs for their workers, unions have hired their own consultants to explore alternatives that don’t compromise access to healthcare providers.

Cutting Costs While Still Providing Quality Healthcare

Boeing has shown that employers can negotiate directly with healthcare systems to provide lower costs to themselves while still providing exceptional options for their employees. The current estimate is that 2% of businesses directly negotiate, with that expected to increase to 10% by the end of 2016. The fiscal bottom line for every company is written in stone, greater costs means fewer full-time employees, so seeing a larger corporation proactively pursue a means to rein in costs without compromising quality is a positive.

Contact the Blue Store today so we can provide you with the best healthcare options in the Charlotte area!

Eye Safety for You and Your Family

Eye Safety for You and Your Family

You only have two eyes, so keeping them safe and healthy should be a priority. Over 10 million Americans are blind or visually impaired. Not all of these cases are preventative, but most are, and almost all health insurance provides regular check-ups in their plans. This allows access for people to affordable eye healthcare. Consider the below safety tips and information about your eye’s well-being.

Have Your Eyes Looked at Every Year

Annual eye exams are a must for you and the entire family. Because some vision problems develop over time without warning, your eye doctor will be able to detect these issues. There can be some issues so severe, if not diagnosed early enough, that blindness could be a direct result. Regular check-ups allow for you to stay on top of any impending problems, fixing them early before they become severe.

Wear Your Shades on All Sunny Days

When ever outside, try to wear sunglasses as often as possible. Direct and indirect sunlight can be very harmful to eyes. This doesn’t only apply for beach days during the hot summer, being in snow on sunny days can also place you at high risk. Purchases sunglasses that specify they filter out ultraviolet light.

Keep Your Eyes Safe Playing Sports

Everybody loves to be active and participate in sports, but your eyes are in danger of suffering injury during these fun times. Any balls flying in your direction or errant fingers that poke or scratch the eye on accident can have long lasting and detrimental effects to your eye’s health. Consider purchasing protective eyewear and visors even if prescription glasses aren’t required for the athlete. Keeping a physical barrier between the eyes and any potential threat will protect you in the long run.

Impaired Vision and Blindness

The vast majority of blind and visually impaired aren’t born this way, rather it is a process that happens over time. The major cause is macular degeneration, which is blurred vision, is caused by the deterioration of central vision, eventually leading to blindness. A second cause is when there is pressure to the optic nerve over a prolonged period of time, called glaucoma.

Keep Your Vision Crystal Clear for the Rest of Your Life

Remember that eye exams aren’t just about confirming that you have great vision. Your eyes are where specialists can detect disease impacting various parts of your body. High blood pressure, diabetes, and high cholesterol are just a few of the diseases that can be found in your eyes, but impact your entire health. Being proactive with your eye health not only helps you see clearly, but will give your sight longevity as well!

Call Blue Store today for the largest selection of health insurance policies and purchase the best options for you and your family!