Patients are increasingly presented with a bewildering array of options to pay for health care. In response, health plans are offering online tools to help patients estimate health expenses under different benefit plans. Now, employers are joining them.
ADP Inc, known for processing payrolls and providing related employer services, announced plans Tuesday to offer online decision-support tools straight to its clients employees. ADP will team up with Subimo LLC to offer an online cost modeling tool. The tool will be integrated with ADPs ESS (employee self service) application to help employees evaluate health care plan costs based on individual medical needs.
The tool takes into account a persons age, gender, geographic region and health condition to estimate a range of a familys health costs under each health plan available. Subimo spokesperson John Hallock said the tool would predict what health services an individual or family would be most likely to need by using predictive modeling based on data from some 60 million U.S. patients.
“This kind of information was traditionally only available to managed care professionals,” said Hallock. Employees can use the information to pick plans and to decide how to fund a flexible spending account, HSA (health savings account) or HRA (health reimbursement arrangement).
A number of pilot ADP clients will be using the cost modeling tool for their annual enrollment this fall, with all clients having access to the new tool for the fall 2006 enrollment period.
Andrew Childs, vice president of marketing for ADP Benefit Services, said the Subimo tool would be part of standard service for new clients and that existing clients could add the service for a small fee. It is currently being offered to about 175 companies with a total of about a million employees. “We had a lot of requests for additional tools to help employees make better health coverage choices,” he said. “So far, everyone that weve offered it to has taken us up on it.”