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A key benefit of having a self-funded health plan is the ability to add benefits at any time of year

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Interventional Orthopedic Insights


From the Desk of Regenexx CEO Jason Hellickson

Maximize Your Self-funded Plan by Adding Off-Plan-Year Strategies

Open enrollment may be behind us but data suggests the experience can leave employees with more questions than answers about their healthcare benefits. In fact, nearly 50% of U.S. employees don’t understand their benefits materials and feel ill-equipped to utilize their health plan options. Educating employees about their benefits is a high priority for the majority of employers, however, employees frequently feel overwhelmed by the volume of information to comprehend during open enrollment. One-third of American workers would rather talk about their weight than their employee benefits, and nearly half dread the benefits enrollment process as much as asking for a raise. Once the enrollment process is over, nearly 1 in 5 do not feel confident they comprehend everything they signed up for after their most recent enrollment.

This is surprising, considering benefits are a significant factor in employee career satisfaction and retention. A strong majority (70 percent or more) of employees report that benefits packages are highly important to their well-being, financial health, and job satisfaction. To that note, non-salary benefits continue to grow in importance for both job seekers and the currently employed, with 46% of employees surveyed claiming healthcare benefits were the most important benefit when considering job offers.

While ping-pong tables and paid time off are great incentives, why not provide employees with a health care alternative that offers a better quality of life? Adding Regenexx procedures offers them a choice in their orthopedic care that could save both employer and employee valuable time, expenses and provide less hardship.

As the steward of a self-funded plan, do not let perceived plan year restrictions limit the opportunity to improve a health plan. Self-funded plans are ideal for direct contract benefits that can be implemented at any time during the calendar year. This is especially impactful for musculoskeletal issues as orthopedic occurrences are not bound by a plan-year pattern. An employee that encounters an orthopedic issue needs to remedy their condition in that same plan year. For example, if an employee has a rotator cuff tear this January, they are going to need treatment now and should not have to wait until the next open enrollment period to be offered an alternative to surgery.

Employers need the right orthopedic care continuum in place for their employee’s best care without regard to the plan year process occurring annually. The benefit of a self-funded plan is the flexibility for employers to assemble benefit options and program designs outside of the constraints of a fully insured plan. It is short-sighted to restrict benefit additions that can help manage risk, reduce healthcare costs and bring value to employees all year round.

Employers are facing another increase in employee healthcare costs in 2020. The average cost per employee is predicted to increase 5%—from $14,642 in 2019 to $15,375. With this in mind, having a non-surgical care option in your health plan is a good fiscal strategy to manage rising costs, add to employee retention and boost employee satisfaction in the new year.

Half of all Regenexx clients add our procedures to their self-funded plans off-plan year.

Regenexx has made the process of incorporating into a self-funded plan easy, with no upfront cost and can be exercised as an immediate benefit to the plan. No upfront costs translates into employers saving as soon as an employee engages. Full onboarding takes as little as 30 days. Meaning, the employee with the January rotator cuff tear would immediately begin treatment with a non-surgical procedure first, followed by more aggressive modalities only if needed.

Avoiding Surgery: The Idea Behind Rotator Cuff Stem Cell Injections

Learn more about treating rotator cuff tears before surgery. Click here.

The onboarding process is simple for Regenexx to initiate with your TPA to amend an existing health plan. Then the Regenexx utilization team works with employers to fully educate employees about this single plan addition using several strategies: a benefits card mailing, an educational
e-mail campaign, an announcement video, and targeted outreach. When an employer is properly engaged and fully implementing the above strategies, we see employees engage with Regenexx immediately and consistently through our centralized Education Center.

To learn more about how we work with brokers, TPAs and self-funded employers, or for more information on Regenexx procedures, call 877-341-5968 or visit Regenexxcorporate.com.

Live Informed,

Jason Hellickson
Chief Executive Officer, Regenexx

Your Trusted Resource to Reduce Orthopedic Costs