Risk & Business Magazine California Risk & Business Magazine Summer 2017 - Page 2

MULTI-CARRIER HEALTH INSURANCE Four Benefits of a Multi-Carrier Health Insurance Program BY: KEVIN TIMONE CHIEF SALES OFFICER OF ORANGE A lthough multi-carrier health insurance programs— such as the CaliforniaChoice small business private health insurance exchange, —have been operating for years, many businesses and individuals had little awareness of these exchanges before the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect and the federal marketplace opened. Today, more and more employers of every size have access to at least one multi-carrier exchange, and it’s easy to understand the growing appeal of these exchanges. A multiple-carrier health insurance program offers several benefits—for businesses and their employees. 1. COMPETITIVE PRICING When you offer multiple health insurance options, the participating health plans are competing for your business, so they are more likely to offer competitive pricing (and cost savings for you and your employees). Using a Defined Contribution approach gives your business another way to control costs while still offering a range of plan choices to employees and dependents. It also helps guard against overinsuring, which can mean savings for employees and your business. 2 2. GREATER EMPLOYEE CHOICE Multi-carrier health insurance programs are very appealing to employees because they are able to shop and purchase the coverage that works best for their individual or family health insurance needs. After all, your health care needs are likely not the same as those of your employees. And “Bob” and “Elaine” certainly have different health care needs from one another, so giving each of them a choice in what coverage they elect helps them find the right plan at the right price to fit their budget. 3. SIMPLIFIED ADMINISTRATION A multi-carrier health insurance program like an exchange offers streamlined administrative support for your business, your employees, and enrolled dependents. Participants can typically enroll online and can often use a single website and toll-free customer care number for answers to questions and problem resolution. Exchanges may also help reduce a business’s administrative burden by offering assistance with the rigorous compliance requirements of health care reform—a welcome relief in today’s changing regulatory environment. 4. SHARED RESPONSIBILITY A multi-carrier health insurance program shifts more of the buying power and responsibility for decision making to employees. While employers are still involved in selecting the carriers and plans (or the private exchange that is packaging the options for employees), the ultimate decision regarding health coverage is left with employees (and their dependents). If an employee chooses a higher deductible plan or chooses not to take part in supplemental or voluntary coverage, that decision can reduce the employer’s financial risks and costs. For more information about offering your employees access to multiple health insurance carriers in a single program, talk to your broker or visit www.mycalchoice.com to find a CaliforniaChoice broker in your area. + Kevin Timone is the Chief Sales Officer of Orange, California-based CHOICE Administrators, the nation’s leader in developing and administering group employee-choice health insurance exchanges.