It's time for financial services to be more involved in healthcare reform. Healthcare costs are rising exponentially. The national media has set the stage. Credit unions must step up to the plate and bring more healthcare value to the members. High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts allow employers and employees to save money while receiving the healthcare members deserve.
Quoting the Statistics
“According to a survey released last week by benefits consultant Watson Wyatt, more than 40 percent of employers plan to raise deductibles, co-payments or out-of-pocket maximums on health plans.” September 27, 2009 - Chicago Tribune
During this 'open enrollment' season, your members are likely to see a high-deductible health plan, or HDHP. HDHPs cost employers less because employees pay more of the expenses upfront. Health Savings Accounts (HSA's) are often paired with HDHP's, allowing employees to make the most of tax-free money. HSA's aren’t the perfect answer for every credit union member, but they do allow the member to take advantage of medical care cost comparisons, tax savings, and more. It might seem like you are cutting corners in healthcare, but that is exactly the point.
Quoting the National Media
“If Congress passes a health-care overhaul bill, all health plans would have to meet certain criteria to qualify as adequate coverage. Most people's current coverage would be grandfathered in but, if they switched plans, those plans would need to meet the new standards.” Wall Street Journal, Sept 16, 2009
Healthcare reform is a little muddy on Capitol Hill. The media is aware that this is an issue and that it is urgent. In fact, media and the Administration are creating hype typically reserved for Presidential elections and inaugurations. However, unknowns remain while Congress deliberates, writes, and rewrites legislation. One 'known': credit unions must be proactive in healthcare reform. It is not the time to wait, but it is the time to create HSA programs that work and that provide value for the member.
Quoting a Voice of the Credit Union Industry
“Every credit union is affected by the delivery of healthcare in America. Not just because of the cost of insurance premiums, as noted above, but also by the charge-offs we suffer from our loan portfolios. About one-third of the charge-offs in my own credit union owe to bankruptcies and my guess is that 70% of these owe to ruinous medical bills (the national average is closer to 60%).”
Bucky Sebastian, CEO, GTE Federal Credit Union, the Callahan Credit Union Report, September 2009
Healthcare is always going to be a priority in family expenses. Who wouldn't pay for treatment for an ill family member over an auto loan or mortgage? Being at the intersection of employers and members, credit unions have the unique opportunity to provide a healthcare option that works. The national media is taking the first step by raising awareness of the difficulties in covering medical expenses. Your credit union can step up and offer members a better solution they can implement today.