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Author:

Eric Krieg

Eric Krieg

Eric Krieg is an industry disruptor with 30 years of experience in employee benefits brokerage and consulting. He informs employers and the media on how the employee benefits industry really operates. Krieg has served on national advisory boards for Aetna, United HealthCare, CIGNA and Guardian, as well as regional groups for Anthem, Kaiser Permanente and Medical Mutual. He began his career at Aetna and later served as senior vice president and group benefits business leader for one of the nation’s largest independent insurance brokerage and risk management firms. In 2014, Krieg launched the industry’s first benefits advisory services practice of its kind at Risk International, an independent risk and benefits management firm. Skilled in TCOR (total cost of risk) methodologies, he advises employers on LEAN benefits management techniques. Since 2011, Krieg has presented at conferences, seminars and webinars on various topics, including the ACA, wellness and health exchanges/marketplaces. A graduate of the University of Toledo, his professional designations include GBA, ChFC and CLU.

Eric Krieg

Aetna acquires Humana, Anthem to buy Cigna, United Healthcare buys Catamaran, CVS buys Omnicare, Rite Aid acquires EnvisionRx and on and on. Have you read about the upside for employers or employees?

No.

Here’s what’s in the news:

  • How will investors make out?
  • Which management team will be in charge?
  • Who gets how many board seats?
  • How will the deal enhance revenue streams and margins?
  • Where will the new entities’ headquarters land?
  • Why the Blue Cross Blue Shield association hates the Cigna deal.
  • Anti-trust concerns.
  • American Medical Association says consumers will pay more.

I think you see where this is going.

These deals are not meant to create new market strategies that will transform the industry for employers and consumers. These deals are to happening to create more powerful business concerns to capitalize on the amazing opportunities in the healthcare business segment.

By the way, this makes great business sense for them but clearly not for you.

The question for you is; will you be a price-taker or price-maker? Unfortunately the vast majority of businesses are price-takers. I hear it all the time when new and interesting strategies are discovered and discussed; oh my we couldn’t do that our employee wouldn’t understand, they will quit, I won’t be able to recruit anyone, and there will be too much disruption.

To this I say: “Are you kidding”? You don’t think that it’s disruptive for employees’ payroll contributions to continue to soar and have more and more sharing of deductibles and co-insurance that they can’t possibly afford if they have to use the healthcare system. Let’s not forget about wasted company capital that should be directed to more productive business expenditures.

Give these six options a critical look, you will gain more control of your benefits and the results will be stunning.

Six Key Strategies to Beat the Market

  1. Set your own prices for healthcare (Don’t accept insurance companies’ network arrangements as either the best or only deals available)
  2. Never take your insurance companies’ Rx deal unless it has been professionally competed (I mean by Rx experts, this stuff is way too hard for mere mortals)
  3. Stop paying the insurance company for services that don’t work
  4. Stop spending time and money on wellness, most of you will not make this an effective strategy
  5. Make bold changes and employ professionals at a minimal fee to help your employees navigate healthcare and your new strategies
  6. Stop ignoring your non-medical benefits, 80 percent of you are paying too much for these plans. The money you find here will go along toward the execution of new strategies for your medical plan

The Straight Talk: You are paying anywhere from 10 percent to 25 percent too much for your benefits, it’s time to take a new path. That may feel like it’s impossible or way too hard.

However you look at it, most employer’s methods are falling woefully short.