Employee Healthcare Costs
– Forecasting for 2018

Crowne Healthcare Costs Forecasting 2018As employers across America look ahead to 2018 budgets, experts predict the keys to successfully maintaining a healthy bottom line will be controlling actual service costs while also reducing medical risks.

According to projections from PwC Health Research Institute (HRI), medical costs in the 2018 employer insurance market will grow at a slightly faster rate than 2017.  HRI’s latest edition of “Behind the Numbers” lists price of services and rates of utilization as the leading factors affecting 2018’s projected 6.5% medical-cost trend.

“In a competitive labor market, employers are looking for new cost containment strategies beyond shifting more costs to employees,” according to HRI’s report, which also recommends employers take action by considering customized worksite-health-promotion programs, drug-spending evaluations, and a stronger focus to “tackle price” on provider arrangements.

An increasing number of employers are now choosing self-funded health plans as a first step in combating costs. Self-funded employers pay medical costs for services without paying insurance premiums to carriers each year. Notably, most self-funded plans will require reinsurance or a separate stop-loss policy for catastrophic events in order to financially manage long-term risks or losses.

Benefits experts can help organizations easily transition to self-funded programs.  Once self-funded, employers are positioned to mitigate risks and lower expenses through the customization of healthcare programs for employees, retirees, and their dependents.

“Shifting to self-funded plans and focusing on preventative care are two ways budget-minded employers in today’s market are achieving the greatest return from healthcare investments,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, a benefits-planning firm specializing in self-funding and the operation of over 30 onsite and near-site employee health centers.

Employers are launching onsite health and wellness centers for plan members to combat rising healthcare costs.  Onsite healthcare specifically attracts self-funded groups because medical visit costs are paid directly by the employer without claims being filed through the more expensive fee-for-services model typically conducted by Group health insurance programs.  With an onsite-care model, however, the employer controls spending by paying significantly lower costs.

“Self-funded employers can substantially cut costs through customized risk management and on-site care programs, while patients reap the benefits of no out-of-pocket costs and easily accessible primary care, disease management, screenings, x-rays, wellness, and prescriptions,” said Tomlinson.

Crowne Consulting Group’s clients have included school districts, cities, counties, sheriff’s offices, and private organizations.  Contact Crowne or call 407.654.5414 for information and employer solutions.


Employers Take Control of Medical Costs
With Self-Funded Health Plans

Nov. 16, 2016 (Ocoee, Fla.) – Healthcare cost control and risk management are critical reasons why Crowne Consulting Group and its benefits-planning partners are helping employers to self-fund their health plans.

While Crowne’s solutions have supported corporations, school districts, sheriff’s offices, and municipalities spanning Florida, the self-funding trend is spreading nationwide. Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, published a July report on trends in self-insured health plans between 1996 and 2015.  A rise from 28.5 to 39 percent was reported for private employers offering self-funded plans.

For decades, a majority of large employers and government agencies have benefited from self-funded plans, but EBRI’s report notes an increasing percentage of small and mid-sized businesses self-funding. Additionally, October’s Market Realities report by Willis Towers Watson forecasts lower rate increases for self-insured plans compared to fully insured plans in 2017.

“Whether a decision to self-fund is for lowering insurance expenses or for managing government provisions, employers are achieving greater control of costs,” said Ray Tomlinson, president of Crowne Consulting Group, which is aligned with partners offering special programs with rate-caps from one of the nation’s largest stop-loss carriers for those risks who qualify.  “Reinsurance or external insurance for catastrophic events is essential in managing long-term risk and avoiding losses through high-cost claims.”

Crowne and its partners are also helping self-funded employers mitigate risks and lower expenses through the operation of onsite and near-site health and wellness centers.  In contrast to the typically expensive fee-for-service model of filing insurance claims, a self-funded employer can launch an onsite-care model and pay significantly less for medical services for employees, retirees, and their dependents. No-cost primary and chronic care, screenings, x-rays, wellness programs, and onsite pharmacies are among the benefits to patients of worksite healthcare.

About Crowne Consulting Group:  Crowne Consulting Group, Inc., founded in 1986, provides administrative oversight services for worksite health and wellness centers and is a related company with The Crowne Group, an employee benefits consulting firm specializing in employer solutions and personal lines of insurance.  Crowne serves public sector employers such as school boards, city and county government, sheriff offices, as well as private organizations.  Solutions for consumer-driven plans include health reimbursement arrangements, self-funded plans, onsite health centers, as well as risk management and human resources consulting.