Small biz gets big access with iSelect

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    Mark Hall, vice president of sales, Health Alliance Plan

     

    HAP and Priority Health provide employers the
    opportunity to offer health benefits and control costs

     

    Relief is in sight for Michigan employers with 10 – 250 employees, who now have access to a defined contribution health insurance plan that is simple, seamless and solvent.

    Royal Oak-based iSelect Custom Benefit Store announced that Health Alliance Plan (HAP) and Priority Health will both begin to offer up to 10 iSelect custom health products to private exchange customers this month.

    HAP estimates that it will welcome 5,000 – 10,000 new members with the introduction iSelect this year alone, according to Mark Hall, HAP vice president of sales, who is confident that small businesses and their employees will give the product high marks for its ease in implementation and simplicity.

    “ISelect gives employers access — through their independent insurance agents —to multiple carriers and a menu of benefit options not available previously in the small and midsized employer market,” commented Denise Christy , iSelect founder and CEO.

    With iSelect, employers will be able to control benefit costs and choose amongst carriers while employees can select and customize their benefits, according to Christy.

    The program offers a win-win to business customers, which must provide health benefits to employees or pay a penalty as a part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which will be fully enacted in 2014.

    Employers will make a single defined monthly payment, which simplifies the financial and budgeting aspects of offering a health plan.

    Containing health annual health insurance costs is a priority for many business owners, who are paying 12 percent increases on group policies annually, according to Christy.

    “Until now, there haven’t been many ways they could cut costs aside from increasing payroll deductibles or dropping benefits,” she states.

    Defined contribution plans allow employers to set a budget for health care costs. Employees, allocated a pre-determined amount to spend on benefits in the exchange, will pay for their contributions through payroll deductions.

    “We’ve been bombarded with positive comments about iSelect,” states Hall. “Agents love its customer-friendly technology platform, which helps employees choose and navigate benefit options that best fit their own unique needs.”

    Business owners concerned about rate increases associated with carriers experiencing higher claim levels than anticipated, won’t have to worry that their employees will have to bear unanticipated cost increases, according to Hall who noted that the risk in the iSelect model is not different than what HAP offers with its defined benefit plans now.

    “Future increases will be in line with the current market, but employers will be able to better buget for health care expenses going forward using this tools and allowing employees to make individual plan selections” stated Hall.

    Powered by Liazon, iSelect’s custom benefits store’s exclusive private exchange partner, the benefits store makes it easy for enrollees to select and track their benefits costs and utilization.

    As important, HAP customers will have the added benefit of HAP’s award-winning customer service support with iSelect.

    “Independent iSelect agents and customers will have the power of HAP specialists behind them, who stand ready to provide customers with personal concierge-level support for up to a two-year period following their iSelect election.

    Complying with ACA will not be entirely seamless for many primary care providers, who can expect to see a initial flood of new patients, many of whom may have been previously uninsured or unable to afford preventative care.

    They will need to be prepared to face challenges associated with patient collections required in the iSelect model.

    ISelect customers will have access to consumer-friendly tools and easy-to-understand wellness materials, according to its partners.

    Providing scheduled preventative care and early interventions are critical components of health care reform aimed at creating healthier communities. Good Rx for us all.

    Editor’s Note: Jackie Berg is the CMO of the Michigan Chronicle Newspaper and Publisher of LivingWELL Magazine.

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