Coronavirus resource spotlight: OneDigital’s health cost tool
Here’s a look at a new tool from benefits company OneDigital that helps employers identify how COVID-19 could financially impact their employee plans.
What it is: OneDigital’s COVID-19 Health Plan Cost Impact Tool
The resource from the benefits firm aims to help employers find the potential financial impact of COVID-19 on their employee health plans. It does so by measuring the frequency and severity of COVID-19 cases within an employer’s unique population and geography and forecasting expected instances of infection and hospitalization and the dollar amounts associated with each. It’s available free of charge to any employer. Information can be found on the company’s website.
Why it’s helpful: Publicly available information is fragmented, disparate and in need of mathematical interpretation, normalization and visualization so that employers can better understand the economic road ahead, OneDigital claims. “This tool is unique in its ability to draw upon data sets being provided daily from the CDC, federal, state and local agencies and over 15 additional health insurance, healthcare and actuarial sources,” says Adam Bruckman, OneDigital’s president and CEO.
Other insights: The impact of coronavirus on employee health costs is a big—and largely unknown—concern for employers. It’s something HR and benefits leaders are watching and trying to analyze. Recent analysis from Willis Towers Watson found that U.S. employers could see their healthcare costs increase up to 7% this year due to coronavirus treatment and testing costs—on top of the 5% increase companies had already projected before the pandemic. The analysis finds that a 30% infection rate could increase medical and prescription drug costs between 4% and 7%, depending on how sick COVID-19 patients become.