Michigan Association of Health Plans

Innovative private sector led way integrating care – government should follow suit

This article originally appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business. To read the entire exclusive piece, click here

Most residents in Michigan receive their health care from their employer. The commercial market represents innovative partnerships between health plans, employers and providers that deliver healthcare to employees and their families. These valuable partnerships have brought about customized managed care plans that offer employee-driven health care benefits that help employers attract and retain their workforce.

Even prior to the pandemic, more employees were seeking behavioral healthcare services and treatments than ever before. A recent National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) confirmed that the percentage of adults who received mental health services now exceed more than 20 percent of the population.

With the demand for additional mental health services, it has become common for employers to now integrate mental and physical health care services under their employees’ health care coverage – this means you have one health plan that covers both physical and mental health care services and treatments.

Employers have been at the forefront of customizing their insurance policies with the help of managed care plans to meet the health care needs and demands of their employees. Employers want to be one step ahead and employees want one-stop shopping for both their physical and mental wellness.

Countless studies have recognized that employers integrating health care benefits for their employees leads to financial savings and creates stronger hiring and retention rates. These innovative approaches to health care from the private sector have forced government to rethink how it delivers healthcare.

Learning from the private sector, government-sponsored health care programs like Medicare and Medicaid are now finally offering customers managed care options that look a lot like commercial market plans. The days of government-run fee-for-service health care delivery models that lack integrated care, choice, value-based provider payment schedules and patient outcome metrics are now nearly antiquated.

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