Medical debt keeps some Americans from paying their mortgages, vehicles, and groceries. Even those with medical insurance are struggling, especially those with high deductible plans.
According to JAMA Medical Network news, data from the Surveys of Income and Program Participation did a three-year study of those insured and those who are not. The survey says about 10.8% carried medical debt, including 10.5% of adults with private insurance between 2017 and 2019. The report also noted that women were more like to have medical debt than men.1
According to the study, 1 in 5 households has medical debt. The average American household owes around $4,600 in medical debt.1
Here are three ways employers can help their employees with medical debt2:
Employers can educate employees on basic insurance policies. Many people lack a basic understanding of how health insurance works. Employers can inform employees of price transparency and tools to help them make the best decision for their situation.
Communication is key. Make the workplace comfortable for employees to talk and voice their concerns about healthcare insurance. Some people may feel uncomfortable or embarrassed to express their concerns. A strong culture of trust will allow employees to feel more comfortable saying something if they need help.
Provide services to help with healthcare costs. Adding benefits like loans, funds, or grants can help employees feel more at ease with healthcare issues. There are various ways to customize your benefits plan to add this. Even considering other plans, like reference-based pricing, might better fit your employee’s needs.