Price of Business Radio Show
February 19, 2013
Hosted by Kevin Price
Kevin: Welcome to the Price of Business. I’m your host, Kevin Price, talking to you about you and your business. I’ve got Katherine Woodfield on [the show]. She’s with a company that’s out there trying to help business owners deal with the high cost of [health] insurance, which is only going up every single year. Ironically, Obamacare is actually making insurance grow at an even faster pace. So much for that cost savings stuff. It’s funny how the name of legislation ends up often being the exact opposite of what it will end up doing and the reason why, of course, is that these people don’t understand consequences and so that’s basically the problem. But her company is called Healthcare Insurance Education. The website is www.healthcare-insurance-education.com. Welcome to the program, Katherine.
Katherine: Hi Kevin. Thanks so much.
Kevin: So, kind of give me an overview of your business, of your clientele, if you will.
Katherine: So, we work with companies that are faced with big problems as a result of the healthcare reform that you were talking about. We work with companies that have 100 or fewer employee who are spending half a million dollars or more on health insurance benefits. When their premiums are going up by 20% per year, it makes it very difficult for a business manager, for the CEO of a company, to figure out how to set his budgets. Then we work with very large corporations that have never offered health insurance, that the mere act of offering health insurance could put them out of business.
Kevin: So, you know, with that, you mention in fact the reason why we got you on, is that you really find yourself having to work with the CEOs. Is that because the HR people tend to not think in terms of the consequential cost of insurance benefits, whereas CEOs will, if they’re educated, as to - this is the best way of creating a consumer-driven environment of your employees to help keep your cost contained - Is that what drives that?
Katherine: You know, I think that’s part of it. Human Resource people know that health insurance is only one component of a very large pie of job responsibilities. For the most part, they are responsible for administering an existing plan, but when it comes to the actual decision as to which plan, the final decision always lays with the CEO. Given the current changing paradigm, where the strategic direction about how you offer plans, what benefits you offer, to whom you offer the plans, that’s changing because of federal law changes, that’s a CEO decision. It’s not necessarily the decision of the Human Resources person.
Kevin: Right, and so you really need to try and, I imagine there is a need for a lot of education involved. I mean, employers tend to want to create the best business environment they can create, have the best employees they can, and they see insurance is a piece of that puzzle. But you know, in order for it to be realistic in the long term, they’ve got to understand what’s happening on the macro level and what kind of impact that’s having on a micro level.
Katherine: Absolutely. You know, historically, the way the process that employers would, employers generally really, really care about their employees, so they want to give the employees the best possible options at the best possible price. But at a time when the best possible options now are coming at too high of a price, employers are really being put in an ethical position where they have to decide- do I meet the federal guidelines, which is a significantly less rich plan, because I have to offer it to so many more people? So, it’s going to cost me incrementally to offer a less rich plan to many, many more people. Or do I stop offering [a plan]? You know, not offering the plan is also an option for CEOs, as a way of controlling costs and giving that money back to the employees and saying to them, maybe it’s time you go out the health insurance exchanges next year. Here’s some extra money to spend to buy your health insurance. The decision making is really changing.
Kevin: Yeah. That’s assuming, of course, that the state is going to have an exchange. A lot of states are choosing not to.
Katherine: Well, you can either have a state exchange or you can access the federal exchange. So you will have access to an exchange, whether or not your state is going to host it personally or your state is going to opt into the federal access.
Kevin: Ok, very important to know. And again this is the kind of stuff that you’re providing at www.healthcare-insurance-education.com. Is there a certain part of the country that you work with companies or are you nationwide?
Katherine: I’ve been working with companies all over the country, often, for example, staffing agencies that have thousands and thousands of part time employees. They have a universal problem nationwide. It doesn’t matter what state they’re in. If they didn’t offer health insurance benefits, they have a big problem. It has more to do with the types of industry as opposed to the geographic location.
Kevin: Interesting. So again, people need to get a lot of education. They need to be informed in how to navigate this process. I want to encourage you to check it out. Go ahead and get that information. Check it out online at www.healthcare-insurance-education.com. How do you get access to those CEOs to try to educate them about this?
Katherine: Well, you know, one of the things, I just call - traditional cold calling. Also, we do webinars, or invite CEOs to attend the webinar and in the title of the webinar, we just have to put the word “Obamacare” and that usually gets people’s attention. What is going on, can you explain any of this to me? Because most people are ill-advised or poorly understand their role and to the extent that a lot of the guidance is coming down on a week-to-week basis, so there isn’t even necessarily a national location where you can get all the answers that pertain to you.
Kevin: Well, I am delighted that Obamacare is good for somebody. (I’m joking there.) But anyway, thanks for being with us. I enjoyed the conversation. Again, I want to encourage people to get more information about Katherine Woodfield. www.healthcare-insurance-education.com. Thanks for being with us.
Katherine: Thank you, Kevin. I appreciate the opportunity to talk with you.
Kevin: You bet. Have a great day.