Your opinion matters
September 4, 2014
One of the roles SBAM plays on behalf of its members is to keep our eyes and ears open to new employee benefits that come on the scene from time to time.
Recently, we have noticed that some larger businesses, as well as one of our sister organizations in another state, have begun offering health advocate services. With this service employees have access to a personal health advocate (typically a registered nurse) supported by medical directors, benefits specialists and claim specialists. The health advocate team works to help represent the employees with health or insurance based questions. Some of the available services include:
- Help in resolving insurance claims and billing issues
- Help with clarifying insurance benefits – what services are covered, co-pays, coinsurance and health cost estimates for common medical procedures
- Help when faced with serious illness or injury including support groups, special services and community resources
- Help finding the right doctors, dentists, hospitals or other healthcare providers
- Help with scheduling appointments, especially with hard-to-reach specialist
- Help with Medicare questions
- Help locating services for elderly parents and parents-in-law such as transportation and meal services, adult daycare, assisted living and long-term care.
For both the small businesses owner and their employees, time is money. Time taken away from the core business functions, either by the owner or the employees to deal with any of the above issues is not time well spent. And with health insurance and health care being as complicated as they are today, we know that dealing with these issues is a common occurrence. To that end, we are wondering if this is a benefit worth pursuing for our members.
Programs of this type typically cost less than $5.00 per month per employee and they are sold as one more way to take care of employees at a very low cost. Generally, the benefit provides coverage to the business owner, their spouse/domestic partner, and household dependents under the age of 26.