Employee Benefits

The Clue to Seeing Where Your Healthcare Dollars are Spent

Jeff Kirke
Jeff Kirke
Vice President, Employee Benefits

Healthcare costs — to some, those two words used together are beginning to be (or have been) cuss words. These days, healthcare costs are rising at an alarming rate. All businesses and organizations are feeling the pain, but when you’re a smaller business, well, let’s just say that pain is 10-fold. And there are a lot of smaller businesses. In fact, small employers (those with fewer than 100 employees) rose to 17.4 percent in the last year.

In addition to costs, another big pain point for small employers is the insurance options available. If you take a step back and look at the traditional insurance markets, there aren’t many options to choose from. In the Phoenix market alone where I live, a large carrier is aggressively moving groups that qualify from their traditional fully insured plans to their partially self-funded platform. These are businesses that are running well and, more than likely, don’t have any large ongoing claimants.

How is this a helpful option? Well, the shift to a self-funded platform gives small employers the opportunity to realize claims savings quickly and directly. A self-funded solution that includes strategies and programs to help reduce overall claims, such as health and wellness programs, disease management, and consumer-driven health plans, all can create the opportunity to realize claims savings. Additionally, self-insuring allows employers to avoid some, but by no means all, of the coverage mandates and administrative costs imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Another key advantage of self-funded programs is the ability to know exactly what you’re paying. That’s a pretty big piece to the puzzle, right?! Being self-funded allows you to get company-specific claims reports that help you understand exactly where healthcare dollars are being spent and the impact of wellness programs. These programs also allow for more informed decision making when considering benefit changes.

The challenges facing small employers that want to continue to offer health insurance to their employees aren’t going away. Big corporations have leverage and tools to help with costs, but that’s simply not the case for smaller businesses. As the traditional insurance markets continue to increase costs, we have to provide alternative funding mechanisms to our clients and prospects…and self-funding may be the answer.

Our thought leaders and teams here at Holmes Murphy have been working incredibly hard on coming up with an answer to help, and we’re excited about the progress we’ve been making. If you’re a small employer and we haven’t connected yet on the possibility of a self-funded insurance program, please reach out. Our program, called “Main Street,” could be the answer to your healthcare cost issues. And if you just want to scope out the program before talking with us, no problem. Just click here.

I know…making any type of change to your insurance program is overwhelming. We’re here to answer any questions you have on not just self-funding but health insurance costs, mandates, the opioid crisis, etc. I hope you know you can always reach out with questions.

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