ZocDoc is another healthcare company that covers 100% of all its employees' premiums. However, workers do have out-of-pocket costs for deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. The New York-based company, which has about 300 full-time-equivalent employees, allows patients to book appointments with physicians online through ZocDoc's website. Physician groups pay for the company's service, which is then offered free to the clients' patients.
Dr. Oliver Kharraz, the company's co-founder and chief operating officer, says many of the firm's hires are recent college graduates who are taking their first job out of school. Thus, they have little idea that ZocDoc's insurance policies are unusual compared with other workplaces. But Kharraz says he believes any heightened expectations are a positive in recruiting and retaining employees.
The team at ZocDoc believes they're getting a strong return on their investment through healthier and happier employees. “We believe that access to healthcare is the one big problem we are trying to solve in America,” Kharraz says. “And we really should do our part.”
The Kaiser/HRET survey shows a big discrepancy in amount of cost-sharing based on the size of the employer. At small firms, for example, those with three to 199 workers, 36% of the employers pay the full cost of single health coverage. At larger companies, that percentage falls to just 6%.
Benefit packages are more important at smaller companies, which might struggle to attract well-qualified workers, says Paul Fronstin, director of the health research and education program for the Employee Benefit Research Institute, a Washington-based group that advocates for employee benefit programs. Smaller companies tend to offer smaller salary packages, and some feel the smaller markets aren't as attractive to potential employees.
Meanwhile, Emergency Medicine Physicians, Canton, Ohio, an ER staffing firm, employs about 1,300. The company pays all of its employees' premiums with a $10 in-network copayment and $15 for out-of-network physician office visits. The company covers 100% after the same copayments for routine and well-care visits. Those aren't subject to the annual deductible, which is $500 per person and a maximum of $1,000 per family. In addition, for hospital room charges and outpatient surgeries, Emergency Medicine Physicians' plan covers 100% of in-network charges and 90% out of network.
Despite the generous benefits package, company CEO Dr. Dominic Bagnoli Jr. doesn't think it's a major recruiting tool.
“I don't think American emergency physicians are taking their jobs based on what benefits they receive,” he says. “They're looking for the best fit, if they believe in the mission, if they want to work in this environment or culture.”
Bagnoli acknowledges the policy as a way to reward loyalty and as a tool for retention. Health insurance represents the second-largest expense for the company, behind compensation, with malpractice insurance ranking third.
The company is self-insured, and officials review the premium policies every two or three years. When other insurance companies make bids on its contract, Bagnoli says they often tell him that the company's benefits plan is too generous, and they counsel the company to reduce the coverage offered. But Bagnoli says Emergency Medicine Physicians hasn't reduced a single benefit over the company's 20 years.
“I think it's all about trying to determine your philosophy as an organization,” Bagnoli says. “I don't really look at the other companies and think that they're not doing it the right way.”