It's a high-deductible plan or nothing for BCBS of Florida employees

Even given the difficult choices employers face, most offer their employees at least a few choices of health coverage from which to choose. Health plans, in turn, pitch employers on what may be dozens of options, from HMO to PPO to point-of-service, high- and low-deductible, and more.

However, one large employer and health plan--Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida--has embarked on what can only be regarded as a precedent-setting example: Starting next year, the plan will provide its own employees with access to only one high-deductible plan linked to a health savings account. Executives with BCBS of Florida told the Miami Herald that the insurer has been moving in this direction for four years, based on their conviction that employees who must manage most minor care financially will take better care of themselves and spend more wisely.

BCBS of Florida is offering employees one HSA with a $1,500 deductible and 10 percent co-insurance, and another with a $2,500 deductible and 20 percent co-insurance. To make the new policy more employee-friendly, employees get a $1,000 contribution to the HSA if they fill out a risk assessment survey looking at their health status and vulnerabilities. (It will provide only a $500 match if employees don't wish to take the assessment.)

Unlike some extremely strict consumer-directed health plans, BCBS of Florida's plans do cover some screenings completely, such as mammograms and colonoscopies, and only asks employees to pay the co-insurance for some preventive care.

To learn more about BCBS of FL's plans:
- read this Miami Herald piece

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