Healthcare for part-time workers: How to vet your options
Offering virtual healthcare solutions to part-time and contract workers is an emerging tool for recruiting and retaining great people. It’s one that many organizations are using to address the current labor shortage in industries ranging from food service to eldercare.
In fact, a recent survey* indicates that 81% of HR leaders who currently offer a virtual care benefit to full-time employees are open to offering a similar solution to part-time workers and contractors.
Today’s virtual care solutions have the capacity to meet the particular needs of part-time workers. They also offer a greater level of convenience because you can access care remotely at any time. For workers with irregular hours and those who travel between locations, this means they can schedule appointments that suit their schedules, not those of an office or clinic.
These factors, and others, make offering virtual healthcare to part-time workers a strategic decision.
What else should HR leaders consider? When doing due diligence for programs that best meet the needs of a part-time workforce, keep these three aspects in mind.
1. Seek out solutions that include true, ongoing primary care.
Verify that the program offers both virtual urgent care and virtual primary care. Most solutions on the marketplace today only include virtual urgent care. People can’t choose their doctor and there is no opportunity to get ongoing, personalized care. Solutions that consist of only virtual urgent care provide limited to no support for people’s everyday healthcare needs — the concerns they would typically bring to a family doctor.
A robust solution for part-time workers must include virtual primary care with the option to choose your own doctor — and see that same doctor for all your visits. Primary care is essential for prevention, as well as managing ongoing health conditions and prescription medication. It’s also shown to lower medical costs overall.
2. Expect pricing transparency and flexible billing options.
You should always have the option to tailor billing based on your organization’s unique needs. Options to ask about include per-enrollee and per-month billing. Watch for any upcharges or rate increases should your workforce meet a specific threshold or number of visits.
3. Ask about options to add dependents.
Ask any parent — the option to add your children to a benefits program, without increasing cost, is a significant draw. Look for solutions that allow adults to seamlessly add their dependent children into the program without higher fees or premiums.
Lastly, don’t forget full-time workers.
As you vet offerings, ask whether the same virtual care solution can also help full-time workers with high-deductible plans. Even for those who have traditional healthcare benefits, the deductibles are often high enough that people avoid getting care. A virtual care solution can fill that void by dramatically lowering the cost of seeing a doctor, and helping people get the ongoing care they need.
A sound virtual care solution is a cornerstone of great employee recruitment and retainment programs. Build it into your strategy to build a strong foundation for 2021 and beyond.
HealthTap is proud to be a leader in virtual healthcare, enabling people across the U.S. to get urgent care, receive guidance and counsel, and manage primary care with board-certified physicians.
*About the research: In October 2020, HealthTap engaged Perch Partners to survey human resource professionals across the U.S. The report, “Human Resources & Benefits Leaders Telehealth Attitudes” surveyed more than 500 companies ranging in size from 500 from 10,000 employees, including part-time and contact workers.