reduce employee healthcare costs

How to reduce employee healthcare costs?

With COVID-19 still in full swing, a number of businesses have not even settled into a place where they can think of a life after the pandemic. For a lot of businesses, across spaces, the time when they had to think of cost-cutting ways to survive, continues to be operational.  

Now when we talk about cost-cutting, for some startups and SMEs, it can translate into firing some employees, while for others it can mean lowering the expense budget across domains. This article is for the SMEs who reduce employee healthcare costs to meet their positive bottom line.  

For employee-first organizations, choosing between healthcare and the bottom line can be nothing less than a conundrum. At Onsurity, we take it upon us to not make any startup or SME go through that dilemma.  

Here are some employee benefits cost reduction strategies that keep the profit margin intact for a startup while ensuring that the employee healthcare is not comprised.  

Strategies to reduce employee healthcare costs

Increase the excess

Health insurance excess is the amount that the individuals pay for the initial cost of treatment while the insurer take care of the remaining billing amount. Check with your insurance provider, if the excess amount is not standard, you can talk to them about increasing the excess. Meaning, your employees will pay a bigger amount.

For the employers, this would mean a lower premium as the insurance firm will lower the amount if the employees are paying a higher excess. If you choose to take this route to reduce employee healthcare costs our advice to you would be to tread with caution. Don’t put the load of the paying high excess on your employees – in numbers they might not be able to afford.

Remove optional extras

It is very easy to get attracted to the benefits your competitors or the industry leaders are offering to their employees and follow their lead. At times of financial crunch or simply when you want to keep a repository as preparation for the troubling time to come, note the expenses you are making in additional healthcare benefits. If you are paying expensive therapy cover or some disease-specific coverage, now would be the best time to remove it from the list of employee health benefits offerings.

Now before you remove any benefit, we would advise you to check with the employees. Do a survey and ask your employees which benefits are loved by the majority, and which can be put on hold or removed till your business becomes stable.

Lower your outpatient cover

Every group health insurance provider generally covers three types of treatment: Inpatient, day patient, and outpatient treatment.

  • Day patient – They require the use of a hospital bed but not an overnight stay.
  • Inpatient – They require an overnight stay in the hospital
  • Outpatient – They do not call for an overnight stay in a hospital. These are generally processes like diagnostic tests and doctor consultations.

While a number of employee healthcare benefits providers offer day patient and inpatient treatment on a by-default mode, outpatient treatment has to be added separately by the employers separately, that too at an expensive price point. So, the one way how can employers reduce healthcare costs is by not providing outpatient treatment.

Review the list of hospitals in your network

A majority of the employee health plans come with a pre-decided list of hospitals and care facilities that employees can go to for their medical treatments. However, employers have the flexibility to increase the list depending on their employees’ residence.

An increase in the hospital network list while making accessibility better, it also increases the premium that the employer has to pay to the insurance provider. So as a way to perform benefit expense reduction, employers can think about cutting off some hospitals from the list of networks. An alternative to this can be adding a copay clause if the treatment is taken through a non-network hospital

Limit the addition of dependents in the plan

By law, it is not mandatory for employers to extend coverage to the employees’ families. However, a number of businesses tend to cover dependents – spouse, children, and parents in individual employee’s healthcare plans.

If you are one of those companies, you can think about removing the dependents from the list or asking your employees to add dependents on a cost-sharing basis, as a way to reduce the premium amount they pay to the insurance firms.

Take a digital route

A number of employee healthcare benefits plan come with the provision of lab tests, doctor consultations, OPD consultations, health check-ups, etc. While completely optional, they tend to increase the company cost to some extent.

One way to reducing costs and improving the quality of healthcare is to take a digital route and shift all the healthcare offerings on the digital mode. For example, instead of an in-person doctor visits, you can offer teleconsultation to the employees. This way you won’t have to pay a huge amount to the hospitals while you will be able to save a lot of expense by partnering with a telehealth service provider.

So here were the six ways you can reduce employee healthcare costs without really affecting the value of your employee benefits. But what if we told you there is a way to offer the same benefits, even more while bringing minimal to zero rise in the employee healthcare cost? The way to affordable and comprehensive healthcare benefits takes you through Onsurity.

How Onsurity can help you reduce employee healthcare costs without affecting the value?

Onsurity is a comprehensive, affordable employee healthcare benefits membership plan that offers SMEs and startups a range of healthcare benefits – insurance coverage through partnered insurance providers, free doctor teleconsultation with every plan, discounted medical checkups and lab test, and even accidental cover through partnered insurance providers.  

We offer this whole range of benefits in addition to a lot more, at prices which start at only Rs. 145 per person per month. The benefits at this price point don’t just lower the overall healthcare costs but also make the benefits a lot more comprehensive.  

Get in touch with us at to initiate your comprehensive employee healthcare journey through ways designed to reduce employee healthcare costs.  


Tripti Rai

Being in the B2B content domain for several years now, Tripti Rai is presently focusing on unfolding the elements that make employee healthcare more accessible. Currently associated with Onsurity as a Content Manager, she is keeping herself well read with how the employee health and wellness sector is changing and what can HRs do to make it more inclusive.

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