MerryMe hit the nail on the head.
I've been part of a narrow network option from an employer that was 1/3 the price of the next lowest price option. The narrow network did have an "out" to allow maintaining a relationship with a key specialist for the family. I would evaluate the option closely if it were presented. Other interesting nuances were in the formulary. I missed that one on the first go-round.
As a young person who doesn't use any healthcare right now and expects not to work at a place longer than five years, I'll take that deal and then continue never going to the doctor. I would be interested to know how much of the cost of health insurance you could knock off this way though. I get the feeling that I'm subsidizing the old peoples healthcare at my company. Eventually we'll move off employer tied health insurance (since businesses are starting to hate it) and to something state funded, at which point the young will still be subsidizing the old but 1. I'll be old. 2. At least I'll be able to see what's going on rather than trying to interrogate my HR rep.
Absolutely not. Employers shouldn't be involved in healthcare - AT ALL. Not insurance. Not in/out of network. Not hey, save $100 if you stop smoking. If my employer or co-worker wants to send around an email saying "had great experience at XYZ" or "hey, I found this website and maybe you can save on your Rx like I did", fine. Want to do a benefit dinner for a fellow employee who has cancer? Great. Otherwise, keep your nose and "help" out of my business. I don't trust that costs for types of procedures are not being shared with the employer--and what I'm seeking care for is none of my employer's business.
My childhood healthcare was predominantly through my father's electric utility employer clinic. This distribution system worked ok for a family of 6 from 1950 through 1975. I doubt this service is available today.
My employer tried this in the past, all employees had to switch to new providers, some had very specialized care/diagnosis and were required to "start over again" with new providers. Not all providers are specialized or equipped to care for all types of patients plus there is the potential for personality clashes which will further negatively impact the quality of patient care and follow through. Employees need the ability to find providers they feel comfortable sharing with and then following the recommendations. Employers need to stay out of actual health care delivery, I would imagine there could be some severe legal implications if outcomes are not satisfactory to the employee.
We have employees who work in at least 5 states today and that will grow. This approach is not at all manageable for a company like ours. I want to be LESS involved in my employees healthcare access, not more. I'm ok with paying for healthcare coverage for my employees - but I don't want to micromanage how they get those services.
The only problem I have seen with this type of program is the frequent flipping of the provider pool. Not just the provider but clinics as well. This tends to wreak havoc with the continuity of care.
I'm usually all for saving money but I have a chronic condition that is vastly misunderstood and under diagnosed - I would never give up this specialty doctor and have to go back to my life before he started treatment. I've seen too many horror stories from people with this condition switching doctors and having that doctor switch their meds because "x is more effective" or "i never prescribe y so I'm taking you off of it"
My last job tried this-required all employees and family members to use an 'Inner Circle' provider. I said no and switched to my husband's Aetna plan at his job, where both our providers were in-network. I am not going to give up a relationship with a provider just to make some Employee Health ACO happy.
Not a chance!