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A new health insurance plan is hitting the market, and is already making waves. Created by some of the leading medical coverage providers, these new age policies lure members in with unbelievably low premiums, and even eliminates deductibles for those who choose. However, experts are warning of the hidden financial dangers that may come along with On-Demand health insurance.
What Is Bind Benefits?
According to their website, Bind Benefits is a healthcare startup from Minnesota that is the latest attempt to change the way heath insurance to,
“Make health care affordable. Empower people to define their own health.”
The front page of their website promises to provide up to 20% in savings by reducing waste, and providing more benefits. It boasts simplicity and clarity for members by eliminating deductibles and coinsurance, and offers a broader provider network.
On the surface, Bind Benefits seems to be an employer and employees dream. However, much of this does seem too good to be true. Which begs the question, how does it achieve this?
How It Differs From Traditional Medical Coverage
Bind Benefits differs from traditional coverage in a few key ways. First, it is specific to employers and employees. You can’t purchase it on the health insurance marketplace, although it does claim to be ACA compliant.
Secondly, it helps members make cost effective decisions when it comes to their health insurance. For starters, it eliminates some of the most expensive aspects of traditional health insurance, including out-of-pocket expenses, such as deductibles and coinsurance payments.
Lastly, it simplifies cost comparing options for members. It has a modern design, and displays clear price tags, provider track records, and employees get to enjoy a broader network choice as well.
Lowering Costs With Machine Learning
Bind’s innovative approach to health insurance is the reason it’s backed by some larger players, such as UnitedHealthcare and Ascension Ventures. Perhaps one of the most unique ways Bind Benefits distinguishes itself in the healthcare industry is through its use of machine learning.
By developing its own algorithm, Bind found it could reduce costs by breaking out certain procedures. Rather than dealing with all the different out-of-pocket expenses, Bind straightlined the path, from condition to treatment.
How On-Demand Health Insurance Works
So, how does Bind’s On-Demand health insurance actually work? Well, according to the startup, it’s pretty simple. Let’s start with the basics.
Health insurance plans are designed to be simple, yet powerfully effective. Rather than having benefits hide behind a myriad of out–of-pocket expenses, Bind Benefits uses premiums and copays for all your main medical coverage. That’s it.
What’s covered? All your core medical benefits, such as primary care, seeing a specialist, maternity coverage, medications, and even urgent care visits. Typically, your copay will cost you anywhere from $15 to $100 depending on the type of care you get. Oh ya, did we mention the free preventive service as well?
Now, not everything is going to be covered, but the majority of your medical needs will be met. We’ll touch more on that in a bit.
Their modern design and complete transparency also help eliminate higher costing needs. For example, Bind does something relatively unheard of nowadays in the insurance world. They let members compare options, and know their costs before they get charged. Their site claims:
- Members select cost-effective care 40% more often than other plans.
- Bind members select more affordable pharmacies 65.5% of the time.
- Less the 1% of members reach their out-of-pocket maximum.
Are You Really Saving Money?
If you’ve been reading, and thought to yourself, this seems too good to be true, you’re not alone. Many healthcare experts aren’t necessarily on board with the new On-Demand health insurance model. In fact, they’re warning about the hidden financial dangers Bind Benefit’s members may be facing.
While the new plans meet ACA requirements, they may be bending the rules. For example, these new health plans are skirting the federal laws which limit annual in-network and out-of-pocket costs. They do this by eliminating a provider network all together, and labeling additional chargers premiums, which won’t be counted towards your out-of-pocket maximum.
On-Demand health plans also place a huge burden on members to become savvy shoppers in an increasingly difficult market, all while eliminating their negotiating power with medical providers.
While the new model allows members to sort of pick and choose what they want coverage for, it leaves out a small detail. Medical emergencies are often unpredictable and urgent, and without the proper coverage in place, you could be left to pay for the expensive bills on your own.
Bind On-Demand Health Insurance Reviews
So what are people saying about Bind Benefits? While it’s difficult to find real reviews from current customers and members, here’s what we’ve found so far.
”People are used to that concept, to buy what they need. When I need more, I buy more.” - Tony Miller, Bind CEO.
According to Barry Rose, who is the superintendent of the Cumberland School District in Wisconsin, they switched to Bind. He says, the district has saved around $200,000 since making the switch, and more savings could be on the way.
Who Should Consider Bind?
You should consider Bind Benefits if your employer provides it as an option. From what we can tell, although it is early on, the On-Demand health insurance model provides the same services as traditional health plans, but at a lower cost. It also puts the power in your hands when it comes to making decisions about costs.
While you may need to put in a bit more work with your research, the savings will likely make up for it. Curious what options are available to you? Whether you’re looking for new coverage, or already covered, see how FirstQuote Health can save you money today!