Whole Foods, Boeing Co., Wal-Mart Stores and Lowe’s are among those that have eliminated insurance companies from their health care equations. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The continued rise of health care costs for employers, despite increasing efforts to shift some of the expenses to employees—and the fact that employees are paying more yet using health care less—are leading to some unconventional efforts to solve the cost problem.

According to a Modern Healthcare report, that solution is cutting out the middle man—the insurance company. Whole Foods in Southern California has done it, making arrangements directly with the Adventist Health hospital system for a plan that is tailored specifically for Whole Foods’ employees.

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