Your Health Plan – Do You Rent Or Own?

We all know the differences between renting and owning our homes and the benefits associated with each. While your bills might be similar – mortgage payments versus rent payments, utilities, insurance. etc., the obvious benefit of ownership is control. Control over everything associated with the home.

Depending upon what decisions you make with your health plan also dictates whether you “rent or own.” If you are with a BUCA (Blue Cross, United, Cigna, Aetna) you are paying the rent, the utilities, insurance, and furnishing your home, but the direction of the health plan is subject to the owner of the health plan – BUCA. It’s their plan – their administration, network, pharmacy, risk, etc. You pay all the bills and they take you down a path and charge whatever they can, and you end up losing all control.

When you “own” your health plan, you’re the one that decides the direction to take regarding all of the vendors – administration, network, pharmacy, risk, etc., and the costs and features of each. You’re still paying the expenses, but you decide to whom and how much. If you want to “remodel” your health plan by “putting in a new kitchen,” or put on a “new roof” and bidding out those services – you can. On the other hand, BUCA would tell you here is the cost, and use all of our vendors.

When you “own” your health plan, you can customize it however you want and you can choose the vendors (Third Party Administration, Stop Loss, Pharmacy, Networks, Wellness) the cost of the vendors, and the direction your health plan goes. You control what prices you pay and what expenses you want to shop. 

The other problem with “renting” your plan from BUCA is you are paying providers based upon what they have negotiated, which we now all know is different between insurance companies and between providers. You don’t control anything!

If you want to own your plan, you need to terminate your “rental contract” and unbundle all of the components, essentially bidding them out with the contractors you desire for your health plan – those who can do the best job for the best price – just like you would do on your own home. One of the best parts is that you don’t pay providers based upon some phony “smoke and mirrors” discount, but instead pay providers at their lowest price. This way, you bring the best cost and value to your home.

If you want to learn how you can become an “owner” of your plan instead of a “renter,” you can reach me at or call me at 970-349-7707. I work for the “buyer” – not the “seller.”

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Frank Stichter