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The Affordable Care Act set out to accomplish two goals: to make healthcare more accessible, and to make health coverage affordable. On the first count, it’s made a significant difference. On the second, problems remain.

For many businesses across the country, healthcare is not affordable. Companies with 50 or more full-time and full-time equivalent employees are required to offer benefits that meet certain criteria, which they may or may not be in a position to pay for. If they fail to offer coverage, they have to pay a penalty instead. Those that fall in this gap have to decide: to pay or play?

With double-digit rate increases happening every year, the dilemma is all the more bewildering. If you feel you have no control over annual increases, you’re not alone. If, simply to survive, you feel compelled to make tough choices like raising deductibles and limiting the scope of coverage, you should know there are many others who feel the same.

Unfortunately, the decisions are only going to get tougher. The cost of health benefits plans is slated to rise in 2016, according to the Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey. On the low end, medical trends for HMOs will be 6.8 percent; on the high end, FFS plans will be 9.9 percent. Bear in mind, States across the country are currently in the process of raising the minimum wage – a factor that’s likely to add pressure.

Is there a way to achieve real savings? Yes, in three steps.

group-healthcare-costsIn our most recent whitepaper, we explore the differences between self-funded and fully-insured plans. We offer guidelines on how to choose which model is right for you. We cover strategies that you can put in place now to reduce the frequency, volume and size of claims, in order to take control of your healthcare costs. We also give you a primer on negotiating the costs of services directly, so you can whittle your costs down to the lowest standard rate: The Medicare allowable price.

If you’re serious about controlling your company’s health insurance costs, if you want a better vantage point to see where your healthcare dollars are actually going, and if you’d like to realize savings that actually make a difference to your bottom line while improving your cash flow at the same time, this whitepaper is for you. Download your copy here.

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