Helping Municipalities Save Money, Be Accountable
ECCHIC approaches all clients the same: We configure ownership of their health insurance so that they can control the costs, get the same discounts that big companies get, and provide better access to care for their employees. But in serving our many city and county government clients, there’s additional pressure: the money they spend is taxpayer money. While every owner of a business wants to know exactly what his or her money is being spent on, for those managing, a public entity, the bar is raised and the stakes are higher. They are not just accountable to themselves, but also to the community of hardworking citizens they serve and whose taxes pay for their operation.
Recently I attended an annual event I always look forward to – the Missouri Municipal League conference, which was held in September at St. Louis Union Station. It’s great to see some of our Missouri clients face to face (which include Canton, Gerald, Salisbury, among many others), and also find solutions for new clients.
(In fact, we made a short two minute video at the conference – please look at it here.)
The reality of a typical health insurance agreement is this: big insurance companies classify premium structures relative to standard structures based on the organization. Now big companies in effect own their plans, so they benefit from discounts and price allowances. However smaller companies end up paying premium pricing for everything. But small companies are at the mercy of not getting these advantages and in fact, pay at least a five to fifteen percent “surcharge” in addition to paying the standard premium. Finally, there’s this “mystery” in surrounding that $10,000 check the insurance company writes about what it may or may not pay for every month. Accountability? Zero.
When we work with a municipality, we change the paradigm completely. First, we implement ownership of the funding for their healthcare cost of their employees to the group. Three important advantages happen when we become involved with a town, county or anyone else:
- They spend less money providing for the health care of their employees with the medical professionals of their choice.
- They can account for every penny spent, and government operating costs that is completely transparent is good government.
- They cut out the “middleman” – and instead of sending their money all over the country through the big insurance companies, they keep it all in their community, paying their own doctors and pharmacist directly.
Managers of cities and counties have a precious resource – taxpayer dollars. Let’s treat those dollars spent on healthcare costs just as carefully as you do every other expense.