An insurance shakeup? Three American corporations join forces to tackle healthcare

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Berkshire Hathaway CEO Warren Buffett and JP Morgan CEO Jamie Dimon are joining forces to launch their own healthcare company, according to a press release today on Business Wire.

The goal of their new joint venture “is to create solutions that benefit our U.S. employees, their families and, potentially, all Americans,” said Bezos.

But what does that mean for everyone else in the health insurance industry?

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Right now — nothing. Aside from a quick, and might I add pretty painful, hit to stock prices of insurance carriers like Cigna, Aetna and UnitedHealth, there won’t be any immediate repercussions.

What can be speculated though is that these three enormous companies will make potentially huge waves as they pull employees off current major carriers’ services. Depleting members reduces the pool of money that insurance carriers will have for their own claims and administration. If the majority of those leaving are young, healthy people, some Americans could see an increase in costs for their insurance plan — on top of already rising prices in the industry overall.

On a more positive note, new enthusiasm and innovation might just be what the industry needs. Having new blood in an incredibly old, often entrenched system might spur creative strategies to encourage savings. Major carriers across the country will have to do something to shore up for the changes this new company could bring.

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Ultimately employees of the three companies will benefit first as the new healthcare company will be staged to take care of just them as a starting point. If Bezos statement rings true after this initial step, it may benefit “potentially, all Americans” by providing healthy competition into an ever-shrinking market.

Changes to Our Phone Operating System

Last week ClaimLinx conducted a trial of a change to our customer service phone operator from a local attendant to an auto attendant. We believe this transition will ensure members and administrators will reach their desired departments faster, and with less front-end explanation. 

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This change will remain permanent for the foreseeable future. We have already seen an improvement in our call efficiency. We have found members are able to reach the claims department quickly, without having to explain their issue to multiple people.

Below are the options all callers hear when reaching the general ClaimLinx customer service numbers, (800) 858-1772 or (513) 677-6262.

  • Dial 1 – If you are a member or provider’s office calling about claim status, benefits or eligibility
  • Dial 2 – If you are an administrator or broker
  • Dial 3 – If you are in need of insurance
  • Dial 4 – Lisa Grubb, ClaimLinx Health Insurance agent
  • Dial 5 – Kathy Durnell, ClaimLinx Health Insurance agent
  • Dial 6 – To reach accounts receivable
  • Dial 7 – General mailbox

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Administrators and members can still reach specific ClaimLinx team members by dialing their extensions or their direct lines. 

Change

Everywhere we look now, the business world is changing. New technologies, innovations, different customers, expectations. It’s all constantly evolving.

So ask yourself this question: If markets are evolving, why isn’t your health insurance plan?

Most companies still purchase their health insurance plans the same way they did 10-20 years ago. They go to an insurance agent and choose a traditional group health insurance plan through a major carrier.

Related Post: ClaimLinx Offers More Than Just Employer Benefits Consulting

But what if we told you there is another way?

That instead, you could have a real solution for your company’s health insurance. One that consistently balances employee needs with your budget, rather than the other way around.

What this requires is a new way of thinking about purchasing benefits. We call it the ClaimLinx Simple Option Solution, a plan that combines a high-deductible health insurance plan from a major carrier with a self-funded Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (MERP).  The trick is to take the best of both types of insurance.

From the high-deductible plan with a carrier, you receive:

  • Wide physicians and facility network
  • Discounts on office visits and procedures
  • Stop loss in case an employee has high medical costs

From the Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan receive: 

  • Customized copays and deductible
  • Real data on employee usage
  • Tax benefits of self-funding your medical plan

Related Post: ClaimLinx Glossary: Medical Expense Reimbursement Plan (MERP)

Purchasing health insurance this way means you’re able to cut costs because you’re no longer prepaying the insurance company for services employees don’t need or use. It’s a way of redistributing the funds for your plan so you can get the most out of it.

Not only that, but also the ClaimLinx Simple Option Solution offers an opportunity to take the savings and reinvest it in employees’ benefits or anywhere else in the company.

Stop paying for insurance the same old way and see what a change can do!

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Donations for Hurricane Harvey Relief

Like the rest of the country, we were astounded last week while watching the amount of destruction and tragedy Hurricane Harvey brought to Texas. There’s no doubt the road to recovery, especially for the city of Houston, will be long and difficult.

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To do our part, ClaimLinx donated this week to the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund established by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the storm, especially our clients and members in Texas. Any person or company can make a tax-deductible donation to this fund.

Or you can give to one of the charities below. There are so many organizations vital to helping the people in Texas.

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Our thoughts too are with those making their way to safety as Hurricane Irma approaches.

Enroll Employees in Stress Less Workshops

Having an energetic and effective staff isn’t always just about providing good health insurance benefits.

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At ClaimLinx, we have seen even our own employees health and productivity affected by the stress of their work. That’s why this year we had each of our employees attend a Ritemind Stress Less Workshop.

Through these private online sessions, our whole team learned how to identify and cope with stress in more productive ways, a vital tool as we all move into the busier season of Fall and the holidays.

We encourage all of our clients to use their savings to invest in employees through programs like these. Please see the information sheet about their sessions and the workshop.

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If you have any questions about the program, please contact Laurie Althaus by email at laurie.a@stresslessworkshops.com or by phone at (513) 703-3891.