Health clinics on the job

By Clark Howard

There’s a shift happening at big employers that could reduce what you pay for healthcare as an employee…if you’re willing to trade your privacy.

The Wall Street Journal reports about 40% of large employers now have on-site health facilities for use by their employees.

Here’s the backstory: As employers get larger, they provide health care that’s not actually health insurance. It may seem like you’re enrolled with an insurer, but it’s really your company paying the bill. In fact, it’s not uncommon to have your claims processed by a big nationally known insurer. But behind the scenes, it’s your employer subsidizing your health care.

So when people run off to an ER, the employer pays big bucks. That’s spurred the growth of these on-site clinics and even some off-site offices where you can go for free.

What’s in it for you? In theory, you have medical care that’s convenient and quick. What’s in it for your employer? They lower their costs and can better manage chronic illnesses that their employees may have like diabetes, for example.

You hopefully end up healthier and your employer saves money. The downside, of course, is the invasion of privacy. The employer knows all about what’s going on with your health. For some people, that’s a bridge too far.


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