How Texas Employers Can Foster a Healthy and Diverse Workforce

How Texas Employers Can Foster a Healthy and Diverse Workforce

How Texas Employers Can Foster a Healthy and Diverse Workforce, Employers can invest in employee health by addressing disparities head-on. Health disparities are preventable differences in the burden of disease, injury, violence, or opportunities to achieve optimal health that are experienced by socially disadvantaged populations. Health disparities result from multiple factors, such as poverty, environmental threats, educational inequalities, and inadequate access to healthcare. April is National Minority Health Month. This month-long observance is meant to raise awareness about the health disparities that persist among minority populations and encourage everyone to take action to end these inequities.

Unfortunately, racism, xenophobia, and homophobia still affect the mental and physical health of minority populations. This often prevents them from achieving healthy lifestyles, and consequently, affects the health of the entire nation. Inadequate access to comprehensive health insurance contributes to health disparities experienced by minorities nationwide. Inadequate coverage leads to a host of other serious implications – delayed or forgone care, significant medical debt, and worsening health problems – and exacerbates hurdles minorities already face. Difficulties affording care are experienced by people in several insurance marketplaces. Without access to comprehensive health insurance, many Americans find it difficult to prioritize health and wellness – and Texan minorities are disproportionately affected. Here is what you need to know about the comprehensive health insurance Texas minorities need.

Obese woman getting a check-up

How health insurance disparities affect Texans

Texans suffer some of the worst rates of disparities in healthcare in the nation. In 2023, Curative conducted a survey in collaboration with The Health Analytics and Insights Group, of employees with employer-sponsored insurance. Over 1,600 adults from Austin, Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio participated.

The survey found that Texans’ health and job performance are on the line due to monetary constraints and unclear policies. High out-of-pocket costs, confusing policies, and limited plans push many Texan workers to compromise essential care. Here are some key findings from the survey:

  • 42% don’t know what’s covered by their insurance company.
  • 53% couldn’t anticipate out-of-pocket expenses for health care services.
  • 30% have experienced high anxiety over their ability to access health care in the past 3 months.
  • 39% have trouble navigating their health insurance.

The survey further found that some populations face the above challenges in addition to:

  • Hispanics are more likely to utilize alternative methods to cover their out-of-pocket costs compared to Whites and individuals from other ethnic backgrounds (72% vs. 64% vs. 60%).
  • Individuals from the LGBTQ community are among the most likely of any demographic group to defer care because of concerns about paying for it (66% vs. 39%).
  • Across ethnic groups, 45% of Whites and 46% of Hispanics have deferred care within the past year, which is significantly higher than individuals from other ethnic backgrounds (32%).
  • More than half 57% of the individuals from the LGBTQ community were significantly more likely to skip a doctor’s appointment when compared to others (41%).
  • 42% of members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to have an HDHP plan compared to others (26%).
  • 35% of Whites and 29% of Hispanics have a higher HDHP enrollment when compared to individuals across other ethnic backgrounds (18%).
  • Individuals from the LGBTQ community struggled with anticipating their OOP costs when compared to others (69% vs 56%).
  • Members of the LGBTQ community are more likely to face trouble navigating their insurance coverage when compared to others (59% vs 47%).

There is a lot of work to be done in the minority healthcare space. The health insurance Texas employers offer can help mend some of the disparities.

Multiethnic colleagues standing around the laptop.

How health disparities affect employers

The health insurance Texas residents have access to impacts employers and employees. The good news is that Texas employers have a unique opportunity to improve their talents’ lives and advance health equity. But how?

Companies have been paying attention to diversity and the host of benefits it brings to the workforce. Studies show that companies with the most ethnically and racially diverse teams are more likely to financially outperform others. One study found that companies with above-average diversity gained revenue from enhanced or new products or services that were, on average, 19 percentage points higher.

Unfortunately, companies often fail to appreciate how health inequities can influence diversity efforts and business outcomes. A survey conducted in June 2021 found that 30% or more of Black, Hispanic or Latino, LGBTQ+, and younger employees said they had considered moving jobs due to their health benefits. Employees who reported not receiving the care they needed were two times as likely to consider changing employers.

In short, income, economic stability, paid time off, medical benefits, and social conditions in communities where companies operate are major drivers of health disparities, and employers are in a position to help address many of them. This is especially true in the United States, where approximately 55% of people receive health insurance coverage and additional health benefits through their employers.

Workers’ inability to access healthcare leads to increased worker absenteeism. Absenteeism costs can affect businesses’ bottom line in ways less apparent than rate increases. Presenteeism is also an issue – a phenomenon where employees who suffer from illness work when they’re unwell, which impairs job performance. Working while sick can delay an employee’s recovery time, increase their risk of future health problems, lead to increased absences, and cause illness to spread in the workplace.

Productivity losses linked to absenteeism and presenteeism from chronic illnesses and injuries cost U.S. employers $2,945 per employee per year. That number includes sick days, short-term disability, long-term disability, and impaired job performance. Companies that proactively address health disparities by offering comprehensive health insurance enjoy many benefits over reduced costs. One of those benefits is less turnover.  One study found that 56 percent of Americans with employer-sponsored health benefits identified the quality of their health coverage as a decisive factor in staying at their current job. Understanding your employees’ unique health needs and providing comprehensive health insurance allows them to do their best in their personal and professional lives.

How Employers Can Help Close the Gap

In Texas, the workforce needs more access to comprehensive health insurance. Since there is a lack of quality and affordable health insurance, there is low engagement with healthcare services – so employers are paying a high price for unused benefits. Employers and employees are paying for underutilized healthcare coverage that still costs both parties financially and in other ways.

Employers should seek healthcare coverage that is more affordable, easy to understand, and simple to use. This will lead to increased employee engagement, better health outcomes, and a more effective workforce. It’s time for a change in health care for people, companies, and health insurance brokers. Comprehensive health insurance Texas residents need is just one click away — that’s where the Curative health plan comes in.

Curative: Closing the health insurance gap in Texas

Curative offers innovative, employer-sponsored comprehensive health insurance. Our plan is transparent in pricing, benefits, and wellness incentives. That means we’re not only honest about our health plan, but we’re also frank about the state of the health insurance industry and how we’d like to change it. Curative helps employers provide the health insurance Texas residents need to live happier, healthier lives.

Our approach to insurance prioritizes providing patients with access to healthcare. With Curative, patients can focus on healthcare, not cost. Our health plan delivers better health through affordability, engagement, and simplicity.

Access to $0 care: Finding in-network services – such as therapy – can take a lot of time, especially without help. We’ll help your talent find in-network services at zero cost to them, so they can take one more thing off their plate.

No-hassle meds: Access to medication is a huge part of comprehensive healthcare. Members have access to rapid medication delivery through the Curative Pharmacy. We can also help find an in-network pharmacy along with guidance on transferring and filling prescriptions. We’ll help ensure their medication is working properly and can offer guidance if they have questions about side effects or usage. No-hassle meds means your talent can focus on being their best self, both in and outside the workplace.

Support on your time: Our care team will help your talent stay on track with their care through one-on-one check-ins. We work around the work schedule and can provide support as frequently or as seldom as needed, so they can engage in their wellness while also being present in the workplace.

Virtual therapy with NormanMD: Today, many people are always on the go. That’s why it’s so important to give your talent the opportunity to utilize virtual care. Employees can tap into remote therapy through our partnership with Teladoc. It’s hassle-free to schedule appointments and get connected to a therapist within a week.

Cancer Screenings with Galleri: Curative offers eligible members no-cost access to the Galleri® multi-cancer early detection test from GRAIL. Galleri can help detect more than 50 types of cancer with a single blood test.

For more information on health insurance, Texas comprehensive care resources, and how Curative can help you cultivate better employee mental health in your organization, visit our members page. To see all disclaimers, please view them here.

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