Even if you’re not a football fan, read on – I’m trying to make a point here…

Recently I was listening to a sports-talk show host, and a caller was trying to convince the host that his team was very, very good and possibly a Super Bowl contender. Team in 2018 was mediocre at best, but the caller was trying to defend his position based upon what he thought the outlook would be for 2019.

After all the of the discussion, the host asked the caller which team would you pick the New England Patriots (who won the Super Bowl) or the Arizona Cardinals (who finished in last place)?

The caller quickly responded that he would rather have the New England Patriots.

Football is the common denominator – it’s just  a matter of which team or program will perform better – more wins, better performance, and better results. It’s still the same game, and the same team, but the players and coaches can change from time to time – which can significantly affect the performance of the team.

Let’s translate that to health insurance. It’s the same “game” and the “teams” remain the same. However, if the “players” change on some “teams,” and can significantly affect the performance and outcome of the “team”, wouldn’t you want to cheer for a winner? If the plan of benefits were to remain the same – deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket, etc. – which would you rather have – a PPO that historically performs the way it always has, with the usual rate increases from year to year, or a winning high-performing plan that can reduce cost by 30% or more, and have little or no increase each year?

Why would anybody pick a last-place team and expect them to perform like a winner, if they haven’t had any new players or coaches to help them improve. The exception is that their team is the team that they’ve always known and followed? They have become so familiar with the guys on the team or the guys who have played on that team, that they would never consider another team because of their loyalty.

Why would anybody select the usual, low performing health plan and expect that plan to perform like a high-performing plan, except that that’s all they’ve known for years on end? They have become so familiar with the PPO concept and traditional cost shifting, that they would never consider another program because of their loyalty.

When someone is rooting or cheering for football team out of a sense of loyalty, there’s usually no money involved. But when a company is dealing with the same old low-performing health plan because that’s all they’ve known in their career and have a sense of loyalty, there’s a whole lot of money and potential savings at stake. The reality is that loyalty and familiarity with the same old “team” (insurance companies) can cost a lot of money for the employer and employee. To not consider an alternative (not another traditional insurance plan) is foolhardy and unwise.

As I’ve written before, life is like underwear – change is good. Companies should consider alternative health insurance programs – not traditional PPOs – like choosing a football team to win the Super Bowl. If you want a wining “Super Bowl” team for your health plan, you need to email me or give me a call so we can chat. 970.349.7707 or frank.stichter@strategichpc.com