MCF 2024 Recap: The Big Easy Approach to Self-Funding and Affordability


Last week, Roundstone’s Medical Captive Forum let the good times roll in the Big Easy. With over 400 guests, we celebrated affordable healthcare New Orleans style with great food, jazzy music, and practical tips to lowering your benefits spend without compromising care quality. 


With an educational focus, MCF helps employers understand how to provide better healthcare benefits at an affordable cost through self-funded insurance under a group captive. No matter your experience in the captive, you learn new approaches to self-funding and how to tweak your plan to better optimize savings, care, and custom plan design to meet your employees’ healthcare needs. 


The theme of our 9th annual MCF was The Big Easy Approach to Benefits: Quality, Affordable Healthcare Made Simple. Providing your employees great benefits that are also affordable shouldn’t be hard. By self-funding under a group captive, employers can deliver their employees the care they need at a cost they can afford. With Roundstone, they have the tools to succeed and the help they need to implement those tools effectively.  


That’s certainly not the case under traditional healthcare plans. Employers are getting squeezed by 20% to 40% increases year after year, and they cannot afford to sustain much more. Healthcare has become a top business expense, second only to payroll. It’s increased 150% in the last 10 years, and is expected to double in the next four years. 


Let’s compare that to those in the Roundstone Captive. Roundstone’s average mature renewal is 5.5%. The average employer saves 20% every year under a self-funded plan compared to traditional insurance, a savings that accrues substantially over time.  


In fact, you’re guaranteed to save money in the first five years with Roundstone compared to a traditional plan, or we make up the difference. That’s the Roundstone Guarantee. Two-thirds of Roundstone clients save enough in their first four years to completely pay for their fifth year of claims. And 100% save money, full-stop. The Validation Institute recently found Roundstone delivers significant savings for employers 


Smaller Groups, More One-On-One Time: Self-Funding Gets Personal 


We started the fun with a special dinner Tuesday night at the World War II Museum attended by the Roundstone Advisory Council, an exclusive gathering with our growth advisor partners. It was a privilege to meet with these key stakeholders at our annual RAC meeting Wednesday morning, where we provided them with the latest updates on Roundstone’s advancements, achievements, and objectives. The morning featured a series of roundtable discussions, where a diverse array of topics related to self-funded insurance were explored.  


We designed this year’s MCF to be more personable and approachable, with smaller groups where employers could feel comfortable asking questions of Roundstone experts and sharing their experiences and ideas of how to succeed in the Roundstone Captive. The beauty of MCF is the stories you hear and the perspectives you gain – those one-on-one conversations can be so critical to the experience and provide a deeper understanding of how to widen employee accessibility to affordable healthcare benefits.  


Wednesday afternoon began with our Opening Session, where employers and advisors divided up into one of three perspective groups of Regional Practice Leaders and Customer Outcomes Managers. There they met their dedicated Roundstone Team, heard inspiring success stories directly from employers benefiting from the Captive, and engaged in interactive roundtable discussions and Q&A. 


The day ended with the MCF Welcome Reception, where participants enjoyed cocktails over steaming bowls of gumbo, fresh oysters, shrimp po’boys, and other traditional New Orleans cuisine. It was a great networking opportunity as participants relaxed and enjoyed the music of a live jazz band, savoring the laid-back lifestyle the city is known for.  



Playing to a Diverse Crowd: The Choice and Freedom of Self-Funding 


Thursday morning was a bright wakeup call with the festive, traditional dance of the Mardi Gras Indians, who regaled the crowd with their brightly colored feathered costumes – brilliant, hand-crafted outfits made from ornate materials in an African style. Mardi Gras Indians hail from a long tradition stemming back to the 1880s when African Americans paid homage in Mardi Gras celebrations to Native Americans and the assistance tribes in the area gave to slaves to escape the tyranny of slavery. 


Roundstone’s Founder and President Mike Schroeder took the stage and talked about his college days in the city studying at Tulane University. He spoke about how his experiences enjoying the music and cuisine of New Orleans opened him up to the uniqueness and diversity of the city’s neighborhoods, which helped him to appreciate the flexibility of choice he later founded in the Roundstone Group Captive. With self-funding, you can design your plan your way to fit the unique needs and culture of your employees. You have choice and freedom. 


“Our business is all about finding a better alternative,” Mike said. “It requires you to be open and do things a little bit differently. Look at your own background and celebrate the diversity of your people. It can really open the door to better opportunities.” 


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Do Employees Trust Your Healthcare? 


The Wall St. Journal best-selling author Dr. David Horsager was our keynote and discussed how to drive customer success through trust. He is the author of The Trust Edge: How Top Leaders Gain Faster Results, Deeper Relationships, and a Stronger Bottom Line. 


“The question is not to be liked,” Dr. Horsager said. “The question everyone is asking is, ‘Can I trust you?’ The lack of trust is the biggest expense you have, and it’s always a root issue.” 


Dr. Horsager explained the number one reason people want to work in an organization is not money but trust in leadership. And much of that trust boils down to the quality of benefits and whether the company takes the healthcare of its employees seriously. If you cannot trust leadership with your health, can you trust them at all? In the healthcare arena, trust is often notably lacking. But an innovative approach to self-funding can change all that. 


He explored the key pillars of trust and the importance of compassion – why people tend to trust Mom the best. He talked about the importance of character and how that’s reflected in Roundstone’s vision of alignment and its refusal to take overrides, fees, or commissions from TPAs, PBMs, and vendors. He said people trust competency and commitment, even in the face of adversity, and stressed the importance of contributed results and stable consistency.  


Trust is essential to customer success, as it shapes and defines everything you do. That kind of trust is exemplified in the Roundstone Captive and the meaningful savings that are consistently delivered to members, Dr. Horsager said.  


How Self-Funding Addresses Diversity in Healthcare 


Next came our keynote panel, “How Employers Can Harness Data, Innovation, and Community to Promote Health Equity,” led by Jessica DaMassa, Executive Producer & Host at “WTF Health – What’s the Future, Health?”; Lisa Durkin, Vice President, Human Resources at The Cleveland Orchestra; and Dr. James Knight, Equity and Inclusion Strategist working with business and non-profit leaders to develop frameworks rooted in humility. 


They explored the critical intersection of diversity and the healthcare sector, and how employees’ life experiences and backgrounds interplay with health insurance benefits strategy. They also talked about how the flexibility inherent in a self-funded approach can better address the healthcare needs of a diverse population. 


Dr. Knight discussed how promoting inclusion can create safe and comfortable environments that enhance the well-being of everyone involved. Demassa talked about the need to change the narrative around what diversity looks like from a local perspective. Durkin explored the need for HR to not only represent management but every employee that walks through the door, and the importance healthcare plays in that representation.  


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Breakout Sessions: Something for Everyone to Explore the Self-Funded Experience 


MCF participants then went onto explore a variety of breakout sessions, tailored to help unlock the full potential of self-funding and maximize the value and care of a benefits plan. It was a multi-tiered educational experience, designed to resonate with everyone, whether you’re just starting to explore the captive or a seasoned pro.  


Breakout sessions explored: 


  • How to understand finances in a captive 
  • Plan document optimization 
  • Proactive and reactive approaches to cost containment  
  • What to expect when onboarding with Roundstone 
  • The world of Pharmacy Benefit Management 
  • Working with a Third Party Administrator (TPA) 
  • Digital healthcare solutions 
  • How to use data to implement cost containment solutions 


In the One-on-One room, participants also got the opportunity to connect with Roundstone team members and skilled solution partners in personalized conversations where they could ask specific questions. 


Let the Good Times Roll New Orleans Style 


The Kinfolk Brass Band completed the event with some New Orleans-style jazz, funk, and soul, inspiring the crowd to clap their hands, tap their feet, and genuinely get down in a celebration of the spirit of the city. MCF participants enjoyed bottles of Abita draft rootbeer, as well as some tasty beignets and other treats as the band led them in a spirited rendition of “When the Saints Go Marching In.” 


Celebrating the spirit of New Orleans, MCF definitely “Laissez les bons temps rouler” – local Creole French phrase meaning “let the good times roll.” Providing great benefits to your employees at a cost you can afford is something to celebrate. With self-funding, you only pay what you deserve for the insurance you actually use. You can deliver meaningful, quality benefits for less – great care at a cost you can afford. 


It shouldn’t be hard. It’s really quite simple. The savings are real and substantial. Give Roundstone’s cost calculator a spin to see how much you can save. 


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