The owner of ABC Company sat down with me for coffee and briefly explained his dilemma. For two years “Dave” had been providing silver-level health insurance to his employees, splitting the premium costs with them. The problem was that the premiums kept going up, and only two of his dozen employees were really using all the benefits that the plan offered.
“Nate, what I’m hoping you can do for me is maybe find a cheaper silver plan that will still cover the medical needs for those two employees.”
If I had done exactly what Dave had asked, I wouldn’t be able to tell this story. I would have collected a census and quoted all the silver plans out there, then shown him a couple with slightly lower premiums than what he was paying, and he would have gone on his way.
But what Dave really wanted was to take good care of all his employees. And there was a way to do it.
I quoted a bronze plan for Dave to offer alongside the silver option. It had a higher deductible but the same out of pocket max, so overall the financial risks were roughly equal, but the premiums savings were large. The healthier employees switched and they saved $20K on premiums that year.
When renewal came, I brought Dave a third option: the small network version of the Bronze plan. The benefits were identical between the two, but the number of medical providers available was smaller (though not small), and there were more premium savings.
This was an additional option, and not a replacement of the original bronze, but simply to give more options to the employees. Then I sat down with them and looked up their preferred doctors and hospitals. A sizable number of the employees found that the small network included all their doctors and hospitals.
Now, did everyone whose doctors were in the small network switch to that plan? No. Some wanted the security of being able to go where they wanted, when they wanted – and it was worth paying the higher premium for it. But others who had no intention of changing their trusted providers found it a pleasant surprise to not pay to keep insurance for medical professionals they had no intention of seeing.
ABC company had grown, and when the dust settled, their total premium savings by the end of the next year was a little over $40,000, and everyone was happy with their benefits. By showing some creativity and going the extra mile to help Dave take care of his employees, we not only achieved that but helped the business as well.
Dave spent a little of the premium savings to get supplemental benefits: accident and critical illness plans to help offset the risk of the higher deductibles many employees had taken, along with adding dental and vision.
If you want to work with an agent that gives you the same level of care as you give your customers, give me a call.