Is Your Employee Health Plan Consistent with Your DEI Goals?
By: Eric Bricker, MD
DEI stands for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. More specifically, “equity” is promoting justice, impartiality and fairness within the procedures, processes and distribution of resources by institutions or systems.1
Many organizations have made DEI a strategic priority for their employees and workplace.
This priority begs the question: Is an organization’s employee health insurance plan supporting its DEI goals? Does an employer’s health insurance plan promote ‘impartiality and fairness?’
Arguably, the high deductible and unaffordable nature of health insurance is in opposition to DEI goals.
Health Insurance Unfairness
About 14% of American adults report less than good health. Overlay that statistic with another one: 9% of American adults delay or go without healthcare because it is unaffordable.2
While these two facts do not line up perfectly, they give us a clue as to why their current health insurance plan design impedes access to care.
When a person is ill, the insurance for illness does not pay enough.
When a person develops diabetes, the insurance for diabetes does not pay enough.
When a person has an asthma attack, the insurance for asthma does not pay enough.
When a person has breast cancer, the insurance for breast cancer does not pay enough.
The way health insurance is structured today with its high, upfront deductibles does not serve its intended purpose of protecting against financial hardship.
The result: health insurance may be perceived as unfair… unfair to the sick.
Make Employee Health Insurance a Cornerstone of Your Organization’s Commitment to DEI
An employer’s health insurance plan design can be ‘restructured’ to eliminate the deductible, make care more affordable and support DEI goals.
Employers can ‘swap out’ the front-loaded, out-of-pocket costs in their health insurance plan design in favor of a more evenly distributed cost share.
Eliminate the deductible.
Assign fixed, knowable, affordable copays to all medical services and prescriptions.
Replace ‘payment-at-the-time-of-service’ with one monthly statement (like a credit card).
Allow employees to pay off copays over time at 0% interest.
Employers can do all this AND keep the actuarial value of their health plan the SAME.
You can achieve your DEI goals and not ‘break the bank.’
Your employees deserve a smarter health insurance plan design. It’s the FAIR thing to do.