Nielsen Benefits Group (NBG), a leading employer benefits company that serves as a health insurance broker to organizations nationwide, needed to respond to clients that wanted to lower their insurance costs, while improving the quality of the coverage offered to employees.
In the wake of the Great Resignation and an ever more competitive labor market, groups are also recognizing that health insurance is a prime way to attract and retain highly skilled employees. But health care costs continue to increase nationally, meaning insurance is more expensive than ever before. Employers thus must balance employees’ desire to have enhanced health insurance benefits, with their need to manage costs. They expect brokers to help them solve this problem.
This is not uncommon. It is often difficult for brokers to find competitive health insurance rates for small organizations with under 200 employees. Additionally, health insurance brokers face numerous hurdles when attempting to convince or assist small groups to move away from traditional, fully insured. Many small organizations are extremely skeptical of adopting self funding, in large part due to the financial risks associated with the approach. They fear a sudden and unexpected spike in claims could decimate their budgets. Therefore, they often bristle at the idea of self funding when brokers suggest it.
“We’re looking to drive the best employee experience possible,” said Ed Ligonde, the Executive Vice President of Nielsen Benefits Group. “There’s a common misconception that the more expensive your health insurance is, the higher quality it is. With health care, that isn’t always the case. We needed to show our clients that when they hear self funding, they don’t need to run for the hills. We had to correct their thinking about the responsibilities of employers with self funding and level funding. They can derive a better employee experience by building customized health plans with level funding insurance.”
Fully insured plans have been considered the “status quo” for small businesses over the past few decades. With fully insured plans, companies generally pay high costs for insurance with limited customization options. Additionally, fully insured plans typically do not provide any claims data transparency to clients, meaning that groups have no idea what they actually need to spend on insurance. Ligonde mentioned that with self funded insurance plans, groups “can have the control, transparency, and visibility they desire. Ultimately, everyone wants to lower insurance costs, but how can you reduce the costs of your second biggest expense if you have no transparency into what you’re spending?”
Self funding in general, and level funded health insurance in particular, addresses many of these challenges. However, many groups are unfamiliar with level funding and its advantages. Ed therefore had to find level funded plans that could overcome the resistance of hesitant clients, while also ensuring the coverage was competitively priced with predictable payment schedules and high-quality.
Ed found an answer to this conundrum by recommending Level Funded Plus - Powered by Great American. Level Funded Plus is Radion Health’s straightforward and transparent level funded health insurance plan for groups with as small as 10 enrolled employees. Level Funded Plus is an uncomplicated way for companies to escape the constraints of traditional fully insured coverage and transition to level and self funded insurance. Ed found that Level Funded Plus alleviated many of the concerns groups typically have with self funded plans, including:
Ed also appreciated how easy it was to work with Radion Health. Ed felt Level Funded Plus helped him be able to meet clients where they were.
“Level Funded Plus is quicker than other partners in the self insurance space,” said Ligonde. “We get quotes that we know are reliable in a day or two, rather than having to wait weeks. Additionally, our small groups can’t handle fluctuating bills — with Level Funded Plus and its predictable premiums, employers can set their insurance spend and forget it. It’s an especially affordable and easy way to move off of fully insured.”
The ability for groups to see where their health insurance dollars are being spent has interested Ed’s clients. “I see our clients now realize that self insurance is like a power bill — they can exert greater control over what they spend on insurance through their choices, rather than just paying for more coverage than they need with fully insured,” said Ligonde. The ability to choose from a variety of plans and receive greater customization has also benefited clients.
Nielsen Benefits Group has been so impressed with Radion Health, that it opted to adopt Level Funded Plus for its own workforce. This reflects Nielsen’s belief in the coverage.
The benefits that Level Funded Plus offered were the main reasons Nielsen decided to adopt the plan. Nielsen found that the price of Level Funded Plus was highly competitive and lower than many comparable plans. Additionally, Neilsen also valued the simplicity of the implementation process.
“There was just one call to do the implementation process,” said Ligonde. “It was so easy. I was able to handle this by myself entirely. Radion Health has done a great job of simplifying the entire process and I think that’s because of the set plan options that are available. You know what the benefits are. This reduces the number of phone calls that occur with other plans. It leads to a soft landing coming off a fully funded plan.”
To learn more about whether Level Funded Plus is right for your group, browse the Radion Health site and a series of blogs that help to explain the benefits of level funding.
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