Best Practices for Health Insurance Plan Design: Q&A with Mike Schroeder

questions and answers written on a notepad on a wooden desk with a laptop

Do you want to hear from an expert on great health insurance plan design? Because you may be at a crossroads where covering the increases every year is definitely keeping your business from thriving.

The following discussion shows you how health insurance plan design doesn’t have to become a massive kink in the hose every year at renewal time. A long-term plan that runs smoothly on its own (and saves you money) leaves you with more time to devote to the parts of your business that really need your attention.

Q: What is the problem with health insurance plan design today? How do we change the way employers manage employee benefits?

A: Many employers have found themselves on what we call the fully insured merry go round. Your renewal comes in each year with a big increase. Your choices for health insurance plan design are to eat the cost, pass the increase along to your employees, or switch providers. So you meet with your benefits advisor to see if that’s really the best they can find. You look for other options, other companies, other plans, to see if there’s a better option when it comes to cost.

Because a fully insured plan offers little to no insight into what is driving the cost increase, it takes more and more time every year at renewal to come up with a solution that holds off the worst of the damage until next year. But that still doesn’t solve your problem, not really.

Q: It doesn’t seem right. “I have solved this problem temporarily. I have fixed this for now.” Is not a long term or lasting strategy. How can this be solved for good, with better health insurance plan design from the start?

A: We at Roundstone have demonstrated over the years that healthcare can and should be managed like any supply chain. When you have access to your own claims data and pharmacy spend, you can analyze your costs just like any other part of your business. And you can implement cost containment strategies, just like any part of your business.

Roundstone’s Cost Savings Investigators (CSI Team) assumes this burden and makes regular recommendations of cost containment programs for you- so you don’t have to spend extra time researching programs and wondering if they’re right for you. Not all insurance providers share this commitment to cost savings. It’s part of the Roundstone difference, and is part of our business that we take very seriously.

A Roundstone health insurance plan design takes the long view. You save money upfront and impact your business’s cashflow in as little as 30 days, but the real impact is the money you save over the long-term. We don’t hold you to a multi-year contract or commitment, but employers who have been with our program for five years have seen dramatic savings– up to 20% annually when compared to a fully insured plan.

Your cost containment strategy should be more than a 12-month “rate grab” where you sign the lowest increase you can find after shopping the competition year after year. That’s time consuming, and doesn’t give you any control over your costs. Fortune 500 CEOs don’t worry about health benefits because they have insight into cost drivers and control over their response. They retain savings year over year when costs are low. With a Roundstone plan, you can, too.

Q: Roundstone’s mission centers on delivering transparency and control back to employers. What is the difference when employers have transparency and control? What changes?

A: Transparency to access your own data, and control to impact your own costs are two of the main pillars that make a Roundstone health insurance plan really work. Transparency and control enables employers to save a significant amount of money over the long-term.

When does this make a difference? When you have the flexibility to choose partners that fit your employees’ needs. When you can run a cost benefit analysis on any part of your plan at any time. When you can track savings and keep that extra money in your bank account instead of handing it over as part of a lump payment to a big insurer.

Roundstone’s turnkey solution means big savings are available without added work for you, but you have the control and transparency to check in whenever you like. Proactive cost saving strategies and a return of unused premium dollars add up in a big way when you choose a Roundstone plan. It’s a proven strategy to keep your costs low over time.

Q: Can you share some cautionary tales, some “don’ts”?

A: Don’t look at health insurance with a twelve month horizon. Flat costs are achieved through a long-term perspective aimed at reducing costs.

Don’t accept a double digit increase every year. It keeps your business from thriving.

Don’t pass increases along to your employees every year. It makes your workforce unhappy and hamstrings your ability to recruit talent and grow your business the way you want to. (Due to increases in employee contribution for employer sponsored health plans, household income has declined 1% in the last 10 years.)

Don’t stay on the merry go round of shopping for a new plan year after year. It doesn’t solve your problem and it doesn’t save you money in the long run.

Q: Now, this year has been unprecedented in just about every way imaginable. Why is now a good time to make this change?

A: Roundstone customers keep the money they don’t spend on claims. Remember earlier this year when access to healthcare was extremely limited due to the pandemic?

Our employers saw a 30-50% reduction in healthcare costs during this time. That’s a significant cashflow opportunity in a time when most small and mid-size businesses found themselves with few options to boost their cashflow. This cash flow bonanza for our customers is one of the rare bright spots during the pandemic.

Roundstone also assumes the burden of delivering cost savings through a turnkey solution focused on cost savings. It’s funding your benefits like a Fortune 500 company- with an Easy button. An easy, ready to implement, proactive solution that keeps your health plan efficient, Roundstone does the work for you (while you collect the savings).

Your benefits decision every year should be an easy one. Roundstone makes the subject of benefits clear- you won’t have to think or worry each and every year about offering great benefits to your employees at a great value.

Making the switch upfront is easy, too. We take extra care in the onboarding process to ensure minimal disruption to employees.

Roundstone can help you implement a proven, long-term solution for your healthcare benefits that is easy to understand and implement. Contact us to continue the conversation, and ask any questions we may have missed!




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