In It for the Long Haul: Promoting Drivers’ Well-Being with Cost-Effective Health Benefits

The trucking industry is at a crossroads. Companies are facing a number of obstacles impacting the way they work, from labor shortages to high fuel costs and supply chain issues. At the same time, healthcare costs are expected to rise by 7.4% this year, creating strain on both employers and employees. With all these challenges, trucking companies are searching for ways to reduce operating expenses while still offering quality benefits to attract and retain drivers.

Imagine360 recently participated in a webinar with the American Trucking Association to discuss how trucking companies can better support driver health and reduce healthcare costs for both the company and its employees. Here are the highlights:

Truck drivers have unique healthcare needs.

Truck drivers often experience long hours on the road and unpredictable driving conditions. These factors can greatly impact driver health, with many experiencing a higher rate of orthopedic injuries, diabetes, heart disease and sleep issues. When looking for health plan options, it’s critical for fleet owners to consider their drivers’ unique needs and how effective their benefits will be in helping to maintain employee health

Additionally, truck drivers need health insurance that moves with them as they travel from city to city. Traditional PPO carriers tend to offer regionally based network coverage, so drivers are often forced to seek treatment outside of their primary area. As a result, drivers can incur significant out-of-network costs. They also may delay treatment until returning home to an in-network provider, which can result in worsening health outcomes and costly future care.

The current healthcare model isn’t working for anyone — including trucking companies.

Since 2008, employers have seen a 55% increase in costs for family coverage as annual health plans have risen to $22,000 per employee. Meanwhile, employee costs are growing three times faster than their wages and are projected to continue increasing. According to the latest RAND report, employers and employees are paying significantly more than Medicare for the same care —in some states paying three to four times what Medicare pays.

Utilizing an alternative, like reference-based pricing, offers a solution.

Reference-based pricing (RBP) offers a solution for trucking companies looking to increase their savings without negatively impacting their drivers.

Unlike traditional models, RBP pays claims based on a specific reference point (like Medicare) — providing deeper discounts than PPO models. This allows companies to treat medical costs the same way they treat other business expenses.

With an RBP plan, trucking companies can offer their employees consistent care and coverage wherever they are. It’s portable, removing network restrictions for drivers traveling around the country, and offers broad access to physicians and medical facilities so drivers can conveniently seek care while on the road. RBP also provides price protection, safeguarding employees from being overcharged for critical services.

Reinvesting the savings

Trucking companies can reinvest the savings realized from RBP back into their business in the form of fleet maintenance or to offset operational expenses like fuel costs. They can also reinvest it in their employee benefits package to help boost recruitment and retention efforts.

Fleet owners must be flexible in their operations, and your health plan is a great place to start. Contact Imagine360 to get back in the driver’s seat and take control of your trucking company’s healthcare costs.

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Imagine360 protects employees and employers from rising healthcare costs by offering reference-based pricing insurance plans.
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