Providing health care benefits to workers is becoming increasingly expensive for manufacturers, but Congress can take measures to help offset these costs, according to a new NAM study.
What’s going on: The NAM released “Manufacturers on the Front Lines of Communities: A Deep Commitment to Health Care” yesterday. The report includes the results of surveys and manufacturer interviews that detail industry-wide health benefits and trends, as well as federal policy proposals that could jeopardize manufacturers’ ability to continue offering health care plans.
Key findings: Below are some of the report’s most notable takeaways:
- Tax incentives: Designing and offering health care benefits is getting more expensive for employers. To fight these rising costs, Congress must keep in place the tax benefits offered to companies providing such plans to workers.
- Affordability: Employer-offered health care must be affordable for employees. To ensure that it is, Congress should consider seeking revision of some of the opaque rules governing health and flexible savings accounts and pharmacy benefit managers.
- Early intervention: Intervening in health-related situations early—as in the cases of obesity, cancer and other conditions—can lower future costs for employers and employees alike. Primary care can catch and help correct many illnesses and so must be incentivized.
The last word: “Manufacturers feel a deep commitment to providing quality health care for their employees despite the increased costs and challenges of doing so,” said NAM Director of Human Resources and Innovation Policy Julia Bogue.
- “Manufacturers are innovative in their health benefits to best address the challenges employees face, from primary care to chronic-condition management.”
ANN ARBOR, MICH. – The National Association of Manufacturers announced today that it will offer an association health plan to its members, extending affordable health care to small and medium-sized manufacturing companies and member associations in approved states. In states where the association health plan is not available, the NAM will connect manufacturers with available small-group options in their state.
“This association health plan is another step in our work to make the NAM a one-stop shop for manufacturing across the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “With small and medium-sized businesses making up more than 90 percent of our membership, this plan will help provide health care and reduce uncertainty for workers and their employers across the country.”
The plan, called NAM Health Care (www.namhealthcare.com), was developed to meet manufacturers’ unique health care needs. It will offer a portfolio of health benefits options insured by UnitedHealthcare. In states where these plans are available, businesses with 2 to 99 employees will be able to choose from a variety of PPO (Preferred Provider Organization) and HSA (Health Savings Account) health plans. Members will also have access to UnitedHealthcare’s Choice Plus care provider network of more than 1.2 million physicians and care professionals and 6,500 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare will work with any licensed or appointed agents who want to sell NAM Health Care.
In addition, Mercer will provide the NAM’s small business members with consulting services regarding health benefits offerings and contribution strategies, marketing support to educate and enroll their employees, plan administration and compliance services. The Mercer Affinity 365+sm platform will provide members technology for quoting, enrollment and ongoing benefits administration to drive cost efficiencies and facilitate employee engagement.
Association health plans allow companies to band together to manage and purchase health care coverage that may save on annual health insurance costs by providing plans that are typically enjoyed by larger companies at a competitive price. Under NAM Health Care, eligible member companies also will have access to supplemental benefits, including dental, vision and life.
“The work that manufacturers are doing every day grows the economy and strengthens our country, and they deserve the health care they need to do that job with certainty and support,” said Timmons. “At the NAM, we are proud to help lower costs and increase competitive health coverage for the men and women who make things in America.”
NAM Health Care is quoting these plans for eligible member groups for a Sept. 1, 2019, enrollment date. To enroll in these plans, where available, interested businesses may visit www.namhealthcare.com.