Direct Contractng: Should Employees Get a Vote?

As summer approaches, employers start to look at any new health plan options that may be available so that they can be prepared in the fall when re-enrollment time rolls around. For unionized employers, members often get the opportunity to vote on whether to keep their current company health plan. That begs the question, should non-unionized employers get the chance to do the same thing? And if so, should the employees have the chance to vote on a new model of health coverage altogether, like the direct contracting system?

That would seem to make sense. After all, what employee wouldn’t like the opportunity to vote for lower deductibles, lower out of pocket costs and access to better healthcare providers – not to mention more access to important healthcare services like life-saving surgeries, transplants and other specialized care?

Employers have nothing to be afraid of when it comes to giving employees a vote, because the direct contracting model will save them money, too – and on an equally important matter, it can also help them retain their key employees for another year. There is ample documentation to suggest that quality medical coverage plays a big role in employee retention, and that is the case across the board: at large employers, small employers and for employees of all ages. People know that good healthcare coverage is a valuable thing to have in life, now more than ever because healthcare has been thrust into the national spotlight like never before.

If you are an employer that is mulling your options for the 2015-16 health plan enrollment period, consider offering your employees a vote on the matter after you have learned more about direct contracting and given them the opportunity to learn more about it, too. You may be pleasantly surprise by the results.

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