If your employees have to shell out for co-pays that they believe are too high, they might opt not to buy their medicine or even seek treatment, even for major health ailments.
That can be a problem for your organization because sick employees are not productive.
In fact, in a three-year study of 17 employers, the nonprofit organization Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI) found thatand lost productivity cost those organizations $17.2 million. The reason: Half of several thousand workers with rheumatoid arthritis did not take their drugs. Many of them said their out-of-pocket co-pays were too expensive.
The co-pays were designed to shift more of the cost of the drugs—about $18,000 a year per employee—to the worker. The strategy backfired, though, leaving the employers with a tab for lost productivity of about 26% more than the cost of the drugs that would have helped the employees feel well enough to work.
The surprise: The workers’ co-pays averaged just $26 for a 30-day supply of the medicine. Still, they perceived the co-pays as too expensive, so they didn’t buy their medicine.
The IBI study uncovered these key findings:
- The higher the out-of-pocket expenses for employees, the less likely they are to fill prescriptions that could relieve their symptoms and allow them to work more productively.
- Employees who don’t take their prescribed medicines are more likely to wind up on short-term disability leave.
What lessons can employers learn from the study?
- Cross-referencing data from all of their health-related benefits programs helps employers understand how one affects another (e.g., how the amount of a co-pay affects the use of short-term disability leave).
- Your organization might be able to improve productivity and lower medical costs by reducing or eliminating co-pays for diabetes, asthma and heart disease—common, yet frequently debilitating illnesses that can affect the performance of employees.
- Adding productivity measures to your calculation of the cost of employee health care can help determine the true value of your benefits.
- It’s worth studying your employees’ overall health records to learn if medical conditions are affecting . Encourage those employees to seek treatment.
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/3504/unintended-consequences-co-pays-up-productivity-down "