About Strategic Healthplan Consulting
You Don’t Know What You Don’t Know
GET A SECOND OPINION
If you costs are continuing to increase, why not get a second opinion? If your broker is continuing to simply shop your health plan, or not giving you innovative solutions to actually lower your costs, don’t you think it’s time to do something differently? I can give you an objective review and credbile evaluation of your plan.
WHAT IS YOUR BACKGROUND AS A SELF FUNDED EXPERT?
I have been in the insurance business for over 35 years, with special emphasis and attention to partially self-funded plans. During that time I have owned my own Agency, as well as having worked for several different Agencies, all the while working and partnering with clients to bring solutions to their self-funded plan challenges. I earned my Managed Healthcare Professional (MHP) degree in 1998.
Also during that time, I became a Co-Founder and Partner of a Wellness and Disease Management Company which allowed me to not only investigate and understand the root causes of health claim increases my clients were receiving, but also permitted me to help develop solutions for them. In 2 1/2 years we were able to reduce their chronic condition costs by more than 15% through a variety of plans and related techniques.
My many years as a former broker and consultant has allowed me to gain considerable knowledge of partially self-funded plans and to understand the complexities and innovative opportunities that are often overlooked or misunderstood by other brokers, consultants, and administrators. This enables me to provide invaluable knowledge and service to my clients.
HOW ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM BROKERS?
During my career I have witnessed and competed against every type of broker – from the small local agencies, to the larger regional brokers, to the national and international publically traded firms. While every firm operates differently and with varying degrees of expertise, there are common denominators associated with each of them. They rely heavily on the insurance companies and administrators to provide many programs and services, rather than taking the time to explore and understand more appropriate and effective components that acheive a higher level of success and satisfaction, and at the same time reduce costs and risk.
Brokers tend to follow the status quo of the programs they recommend – I challenge it. Not by just talking the talk but by walking the walk and acting on it.
WHY DID YOU PURSUE THIS APPROACH INSTEAD OF CONTINUING TO BE A BROKER?
Employers typically have a relationship with their broker. I understand that and respect it – I have the same relationships with my clients. An employer may think that their broker is doing a good job and perhaps they are, but at what? Employers don’t know what they don’t know. They generally have no expectations of their broker, no metrics, no standards of service. Most brokers are reactive rather than proactive. Every broker is out to gain additional clients and ‘fighting’ over everyone else’s clients. They always tell prospective clients how much bettter they are than the next one.
I got tired of being considered the same as all the other brokers, working for an Agency that provides the same services as everyone else, and competing for new business by telling everyone how much better my Agency is. With Strategic Healthplan Consulting I can now work on behalf of my clients, augmenting what their current broker is providing, and have a positive and dramatic impact on healthplan costs without affecting the benefits to employees – and no redundancy in cost or service.
WHAT IS IT THAT YOU DO DIFFERENTLY?
Rather than simply “marketing and placing” insurance in an attempt to lower costs as most brokers do (the Definition of Insanity), I actually conduct a Forensic Financial Benefits Audit to identify compelling opportunities within your plan, and quantify the savings. This is done with the assumption that there will not be any change in benefits to employees.
CAN I STILL USE MY BROKER?
Sure, you can still use your broker if you choose, but you don’t necessarily need one. If you choose to do so, let them continue to provide whatever service they offer. I can assist you by establishing the metrics of service for them – what I would expect from my broker – and conduct Stewardship meetings to review whether or not your expectations and objectives are being met.
WHAT IS THE ROLE OF A BROKER AND DO I STILL NEED ONE?
The typical role of a broker is to ‘place’ the insurance with a particular insurance company. One must be licensed by the state in order to do so. Brokers will ‘shop’ your insurance program looking for lower prices (which needs to be done from time to time) but it doesn’t solve the long term problem of increasing costs. They check in with you occasionally, maybe help with a claim, and then begin the same process around renewal time. Problem: as your premiums increase so does their revenue if they are on a commisssion basis, while bringing little increased value to you, and costs continue to be shifted to employees with higher deductibles, copays, etc.
You can work with any insurance company or Third Party Administrator directly. They can ‘place’ the insurance. Strategic Healthplan Consulting can provide you with the knowledge and expertise to challenge the status quo so that the programs work the way you want them to – not necessarily the way the administrator generally provides them to other clients.
IF I KEEP MY BROKER, HOW WILL YOU WORK WITH THEM?
We will work together on behalf of you – the client – for your best interests and ultimately for your employees. There won’t be any redundancy in cost or service, as we will each be performing separate functions for ultimate plan performance. Strategic Healthplan Consulting examines and implements programs that are outside the scope of a typical broker.
HOW MUCH OF MY TIME AND INVOLVEMENT DOES THE BENEFITS AUDIT TAKE?
Very little. With the exception of providing a Letter Of Authorization for us to talk to your adminstrator and obtain the data and information needed initially, no involement is needed until such time that we are able to present to you our Observations and Opportunities which we identify in our Benefits Audit. Should you then choose to implement any or all of the recommendations, we will minimize any involvement needed on your part.
HOW MUCH DOES THIS COST?
The Benefits Audit does not typically cost anything. If you choose to act and implement any or all of the recommendations, we would contract with you at that point. If you feel that the recommendations in the Audit are not something of value and you choose not to pursue, we will gather up the Audit documents and be on our way – you owe us nothing – and we can still be friends.