The economy has put a huge strain on many people’s bank accounts. As a result, nearly half of adults are skipping critical medical care in an attempt to save money. And that should have some employers worried.
If your employees’ — or their spouses’ — wages have taken a hit recently, there’s a good chance they’re letting their health slip, which could end up costing you in the future.
When workers and their dependents on your medical plan start skipping tests or treatments, it drastically increases the chances of your plan incurring major claims (to treat things like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.)
That’s what makes the results of a recent Kaiser Health study so alarming. Forty-five percent of the 1,207 U.S. adults studied admitted to avoiding health care to try and save money.
Some of the things adults say they’ve done already:
- Skipped dental care or checkups — 31%
- Relied on home remedies or over-the-counter drugs instead of going to a doctor — 28%
- Put off getting needed health care — 26%
- Skipped a recommend medical test or treatment –22%
- Not filled a prescription — 20%
- Cut pills in half or skipped doses of meds –16%
- Had problems getting mental health care — 9%
In total, 45% admitted to at least one of the above.
What can you do to protect your company from incurring huge medical expenses due to employees’ lack of urgency to getting needed health care? You have a few options:
- Continue to push employee wellness
- Stress the importance of not putting off medical care — both for your workers and their families, and
- Work with your health plan provider to see if your plan can offer employees any temporary cost-sharing breaks or flexibility when it comes to co-pays for the treatments listed above.