Anna Jaques sees healthy results from new PPO
Health insurance premiums were shooting up 15.2% annually from 2002 to 2007, doubling total premium costs to $7 million at 123-bed Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport, Mass. So hospital management collaborated with the Massachusetts Nurses Association to implement a new plan, available to all employees, which has held cost increases to 5.6% annually over three years.
The labor-management collaboration in creating the new HSA Saver Plan, a PPO that has brought in 43% of eligible subscribers and enjoyed a 99% retention rate to date, has earned Anna Jacques Hospital the Spirit of Excellence Award for Team.
The plan comes with daunting-at-firstglance deductibles of $1,200 for individuals and $2,400 for two-person or family plans. But the hospital kicks in as much as $1,000 or $2,000, respectively, for those who meet at least three out of four biometric health measures: nonsmoker, blood pressure of 140/90 or lower, cholesterol of 160mg/dl or lower, and body mass index of 29 or lower. And the plan enables employees to create pretax health savings accounts, which can be rolled over from year to year.
“The biggest concern of staff around here was the deductible,” says Lisa Cyr-Wilmot, co-chair of the nurses’ bargaining committee. “It took a huge amount of reinforcement for them to understand that if you meet your biometric (measures), the hospital pays most of the deductible.”
The health results have been rapid, says Stephen Salvo, vice president of human resources, citing employees who have found out they had high blood pressure and are now taking medication, or others who have quit smoking or lost weight to qualify for the incentives. “I’m not going to say they’re easy,” he says, “but with a little work, you can get there.”
Employees benefit from meeting three out of four biometric health measures.