How Non-Insurance Benefits Can Reduce Health Insurance Costs

Posted on: June 19th, 2024 by Our Team


Discover How to Maximize Employee Wellness and Reduce Health Insurance Costs

As healthcare costs continue to rise, brokers play a crucial role in helping employers manage rising health insurance premiums. A strategic yet underutilized approach involves integrating third-party providers like discount pharmacy cards, telehealth, and a broader array of non-insurance benefits into healthcare management plans. This expanded suite of options enhances employee well-being and contributes significantly to controlling premium inflation.

Expanding the Scope of Non-Insurance Benefits

In addition to discount pharmacy cards and telehealth, several other third-party services can play a pivotal role in managing health-related costs:

1. Virtual Behavioral Health

Mental health support accessed through virtual platforms can significantly reduce the need for more expensive in-person therapy sessions and psychiatric consultations. On average, the price of online therapy ranges from about $65 to $129 per session out-of-pocket. Compare this to in-person treatment, which typically costs about $100 to $200 per session.1 Virtual behavioral health services are particularly valuable as they offer timely support and more accessibility. This ensures employees receive the necessary care without extensive waiting periods, which can exacerbate conditions and lead to higher treatment costs. 

2. Discount Dental Programs

Dental care is often underinsured yet crucial for overall health. Discount dental programs provide an affordable alternative, offering services at lower rates through network providers. For example, a typical cleaning that might cost $100 could be reduced to $60 with a discount program. By reducing the cost of dental care, these programs help decrease the total health expenditures that might otherwise impact health insurance claims.

3. Wellness Programs (Fitness and Financial)

Wellness programs encouraging physical fitness and sound financial health are essential for holistic employee well-being. Fitness programs can reduce long-term healthcare costs by improving overall health and reducing risks of chronic diseases. Regular exercise by encouragement of these programs can lower the risk of needing emergency room visits, prescription drugs, and hospital stays. A study by Gympass found that employees who are physically active at least five times a month can reduce company healthcare costs by 35% over 12 months.2

Similarly, financial wellness programs help employees manage stress related to financial issues, which can indirectly affect their physical health and job performance. Financial stress and associated health risks contribute to rising healthcare costs, a concern shared by employers, with 69% agreeing that financial challenges directly impact healthcare expenses.3 Money issues increase stress, which leads to health problems, creating a vicious cycle of financial and health-related worries. The best way to break this cycle is by addressing the root cause—finances. Brokers understand that focusing on financial wellness and incorporating financial well-being benefits into health plans will minimize financial stress and subsequent health issues.

4. Health Advocacy Programs

These programs offer personalized assistance to employees navigating the complex healthcare landscape, including help with understanding health benefits, resolving billing issues, and making informed treatment decisions. Assisting an employee in resolving billing errors might recover $500 in overcharges. Employees can save $3,000 on hospital bills by avoiding unnecessary hospital stays through proper care coordination. By guiding employees to make cost-effective healthcare choices and preventing unnecessary expenditures, health advocacy programs can significantly reduce the burden on insurance systems. 

Impact on Health Insurance Premiums

Utilizing these third-party services can significantly reduce health insurance claims. In 2023 alone, Americans spent a staggering $4.8 trillion on healthcare, a 7.5% increase from 2022. Projections indicate this will rise to $7.7 trillion by 2032—an unsustainable trend for employers.4 Brokers and employers must rethink healthcare delivery to better serve employees.

When employees have access to preventative care, mental health support, and affordable alternatives for medical and dental treatments, they are less likely to rely on costly insurance-funded options. This approach prevents high-cost claims and distributes healthcare demand more efficiently, stabilizing or even reducing insurance premiums over time.

Strategies for Encouraging Adoption

Effectively promoting these benefits requires a strategic approach from employers:

  • Educational Workshops and Seminars: Conduct regular sessions to educate employees about available services and how to access them, boosting utilization.
  • Promotional Materials: Distribute clear, concise materials that highlight the benefits and potential savings associated with each service. 
  • Success Stories: Share testimonials and case studies from peers to enhance credibility and demonstrate real-world effectiveness.
  • Easy Access: Integrate these services into existing employee portals and apps to increase visibility and usage.


In today’s economic climate, where health-related expenses are a significant concern for employers and employees alike, broadening the use of non-insurance benefits presents a viable solution. As a broker, you can incorporate services such as virtual behavioral health, discount dental programs, wellness initiatives, and health advocacy into their benefits offerings, enabling employers to enhance employee satisfaction and well-being and play a crucial role in mitigating health insurance premium increases. This holistic approach to healthcare management fosters a healthier workforce and promotes a culture of proactive health management.


  1. Chamlou, Nina, and Maddie Lloyd. “5 Most Affordable Online Therapy Options In 2024 – Forbes Health.” Forbes, 20 March 2024,
  2. Gympass. “Physically Active Employees Can Reduce Company Healthcare Costs by 35%.” PR Newswire, 26 July 2023,
  3. MSA Staff. “Reduce Healthcare Costs with Financial Wellness.” Wikipedia,
  4. Fiore, Jacqueline, et al. “National Health Expenditure Projections, 2023–32: Payer Trends Diverge As Pandemic-Related Policies Fade.” Health Affairs, 12 June 2024,