Tough Times Are the Right Time to Measure Value

A woman wearing glasses looks down at a mobile device

Crises can reveal a lot about friends, family, governments, business models, insurance policies …. You find out quickly whether someone or something rises to the occasion or fails the test.

Employee health benefit solutions are no different. They can deliver during a crisis, or make you question their value.

Now in its sixth month, the pandemic has hammered employers in virtually every sector. Unemployment peaked at nearly 15% in April but fell to 11% in June. That’s still a full percentage point higher than the worst rate of the Great Recession.

While precise numbers on furloughs vs. layoffs are difficult to find, 78% of surveyed workers who filed for unemployment benefits in April believed they would return to their jobs. Fortunately, in most cases, furloughed employees retain employer-sponsored health coverage.

We follow member eligibility rolls on a daily basis, and surprisingly few clients’ have dropped at all. We don’t ask but have to assume a certain number of our 7 million-plus members have been furloughed.

However, even if a client furloughed its entire workforce, Rx Savings Solutions would provide the same value to those employees and families. Random survey comments from members during the pandemic explain what that means:

It means saving money when there’s reduced income in the household.

“Rx Savings Solutions continues to amaze us with savings and the ease of updating prescriptions.” – William, on May 1.

It means being able to stay on medications to manage chronic health conditions.

“RxSS has changed that way I fill prescriptions... The best part is being able to get and take the medication on time.” ­– Martina, on March 6.

It means getting a prescription switched to home delivery.

“Changing my prescription from my local (pharmacy) to the mail-order system was challenging, as are most things for me when it comes to my health and prescription insurance. … My RxSS representative, Leslie, pushed through and got everything aligned… I'm very grateful for the cost savings and convenience of no longer needing to go to the pharmacy monthly!” – Tyrell, on March 25.

It means a simple call or click to connect with a live person who can help.

“It was a great experience, because I didn't have to go thru the hassle of contacting the doctor and waiting for a response, which normally takes 3 to 4 days and sometimes longer.” – Kevin, on April 22.

For our clients, it means members stay connected with them and engaged in health benefits. Members continue to receive the care they need—and it’s easier to stay adherent to medication when they have access to lower-cost options. And, always important but especially now, it translates to lower pharmacy costs for the plan.

We hope and pray every furloughed member can return to work soon. Same for every American who is struggling to find work or replace lost income. Employers’ and health plans’ struggles are different, but still very real. We can help all of them.

Crises can bring out the best in a benefit solution, or bring out … nothing at all. Now is a great time to assess.