Keeping an Eye Out for the Next Silver Bullet

Every few years, a new product comes onto the medical insurance market promising to be the new silver bullet that is going to save money and improve outcomes. A few years ago, private exchanges were all the rage. We’ve seen referenced-based pricing, medical stop-loss captives, and narrow or tiered networks all touted as guaranteed money savers. While no one product can ever guarantee savings, these products are all aiming to solve a problem that has persisted for many years: the cost of insurance is increasing faster than inflation, and outcomes are not improving.

A new solution from a company called Bind offers to let employees build their own healthcare plan and claims to have more predictability in cost. Bind let’s employees choose from copay only plans, forgoing deductibles and coinsurance entirely. This allows each different procedure to have an upfront, known cost. Bind also adjusts the copays based on the place of service, incentivizing members to choose a low cost, high quality provider over other less effective providers.

Another feature of the Bind plans is that they allow members to “buy-up” to cover additional procedures as the year progresses. This would allow you to pay additional premium to cover additional, often elective, procedures such as a knee replacement.

The flexibility of the Bind platform is attractive, but before implementing a plan like this, you’ll want to ensure you’ve vetted it completely for any compliance concerns. The plan covers all ACA required minimum essential coverage requirements, but does it meet minimum value? Can adding services and premium mid-year pass Section 125 rule scrutiny?

Bind claims that all of its customers have seen significant savings by using this platform, but the jury is still out. The first customer began using Bind in late 2017, so until there is more data, we won’t know for sure.

Keeping your finger on the pulse of current marketplace trends is an important part of any benefits strategy. To learn more about how to build a strategy around your benefit offerings, contact us.