How self-insured employers can negotiate lower hospital prices

Health insurance plans will be required to post their negotiated rates beginning in July, and hospitals are already required to do so, according to the Harvard Business Review. 

As federal disclosure rules make healthcare price information more available, self-insured employers can save money by taking advantage of that data, the Harvard Business Review said. 

Three things to know:

1. Employers should compare negotiated provider prices in addition to premiums and administrative fees when comparing insurance plans. 

2. Employers should pay attention to each plan's network. HMO plans can exclude expensive providers, but because plans can steer enrollees to cheaper providers, they can negotiate lower procedure prices at in-network providers, according to the report.

3. The Harvard Business Review estimates a plan with only self-insured enrollees will be about 8 percent more expensive than a plan with only fully insured enrollees. 

Read the full report here

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