Comcast is reinventing employee healthcare: 4 things to know

America's largest cable company, Comcast, is bypassing health insurers to tackle its medical costs directly — and has kept its healthcare costs nearly flat while other large employers watch their costs rise an average 3 percent each year, according to The New York Times.

Here are four things to know about Comcast's employee benefits:

1. In the past five years, the $169-billion company based in Philadelphia capped its healthcare cost growth at roughly 1 percent a year. Comcast spends about $1.3 billion each year on healthcare for its 225,000 employees and families.

2. The company did not widely adopt the use of high-deductible health plans to transition more healthcare costs onto employees. While many employers require workers to select a plan sporting an average $1,500 deductible, Comcast cut its deductible to $250 for most of its workers, according to NYT.

3, The company does work with some insurers, but it has largely turned its back on them when it comes to innovation. Comcast contracts with its own portfolio of companies, such as health benefits solution Accolade, to administer and guide employees through their healthcare experiences. The company invests in some of the firms, including Accolade, through its Comcast Ventures venture capital arm.

4. Comcast is one of the first major employers to offer workers access to a physician through telehealth company Doctor on Demand, which connects employees to physicians via cellphone. The company also uses Grand Rounds, which helps employees find a physician and receive a second opinion.

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