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Deferred Medical Care Can Cost Employers More Than They Think

Healthcare providers know that catching a condition in earlier stages can result in a more positive treatment outcome. The coronavirus pandemic brought a renewed light to this issue.

Deferred Medical Care infographic


Of those that delayed care, 57% said they experienced negative health consequences.

Putting off care can have adverse effects on not just physical health, but also financial stability.

Impacts of Delayed Care

Individuals that delayed an earlier diagnosis and treatment may have been hit with a larger medical bill once they did receive treatment.

Generally, the longer someone waits to get the care they need, the more likely it is to result in a higher cost of treatment. For example, some prescriptions, treatments, or surgeries may not be necessary if the condition is identified from the start.

Employees that receive an early diagnosis may not need to take as much time off from work for doctor appointments, treatments, or recovery time.

Building a benefit plan to help combat delayed medical care can help businesses save money, both short and long-term, on healthcare costs.

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How to Combat Costs

Employers and brokers need to start planning for increased claim amounts in the future and incorporate strategies to encourage employees to seek treatment early and not put off care.

Below are examples of how a group health plan can help mitigate increased healthcare costs resulting from deferred medical treatment.

Create an Environment that Encourages Employees to Seek Care Quickly

Encourage employees to take care of their health. They should seek care for their symptoms quickly so they can get the treatment they need.

It is recommended to get routine preventive care such as seeing their primary physician, getting a biometric screening done every year, and going to other annual appointments. This can help catch conditions before they become more serious.

Use a Telehealth Service

Virtual telehealth services are popular and widely accepted ways to receive care. Patients can connect virtually with a provider, receive a diagnosis, and be prescribed treatment virtually. Employees don't have to wait for an opening with their primary care provider. They can save on costs by getting early treatment and may need to take less time off of work. Allstate Benefits offers Walmart Health Virtual Care telehealth services with most self-funded plans.

  • Virtual Urgent Care and Talk Therapy visits are available through Walmart Health Virtual Care.
    • Urgent Care: U.S. board-certified doctors and medical providers are available 24/7/365 to diagnose, treat, and prescribe medication1 for many minor illnesses and injuries via phone and/or video visits.
    • Talk Therapy: For members 18 years+. Licensed therapists can help with a wide range of mental and emotional health needs. Receive ongoing support, on your schedule, from the comfort of your home via phone and/or video visits in as little as 48 hours.

Communicate and Understand Benefits

Set up meetings throughout the year, not just during Open Enrollment, to discuss and explain the company's benefit plan and how to use it. Employees may put off receiving care because they aren't sure what is covered and don't know about all of the great benefits of the plan. This can include how to find a provider that accepts the plan, how to use telehealth services, and more.

The Bottom Line

Delayed medical care can negatively impact both employers and employees. To help alleviate that impact, build a health plan that encourages members to be proactive about their health care. It will help reduce employer health care costs, lead to more positive employee health results, and help avoid unnecessary surgeries, prescriptions, and treatments at the beginning of an illness.

1) Walmart Health Virtual Care offers medical consultations, behavioral health counseling, and talk therapy services via telehealth to patients nationwide. Services are provided in accordance with state law by physicians, nurse practitioners, and other licensed professionals. When medically necessary, Walmart Health Virtual Care providers may prescribe medication that patients can pick up at a local pharmacy. Virtual Urgent Care visits are not a replacement for a primary care physician or annual physical exam.

The Self-Funded Program through Allstate Benefits provides tools for employers owning small to mid-sized businesses to establish a self-funded health benefit plan for their employees. The benefit plan is established by the employer and is not an insurance product. Allstate Benefits is a marketing name for: Integon National Insurance Company in CT, NY and VT; Integon Indemnity Corporation in FL; and National Health Insurance Company in CO, WA and all other states where offered. For employers in the Allstate Benefits Self-Funded Program, stop loss insurance is underwritten by these insurance companies in the noted states.

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