HEALTHZNEWS

Gone are the days when obtaining quality healthcare was limited to very few choices. Employers no longer need to take what they can get. As such, many employers are choosing to pool together their resources into a healthcare consortium. 

What is a Health Insurance Consortium?

A health insurance consortium allows agencies, businesses, organizations, local governments, and uninsured consumers to combine their purchasing power to get better health insurance pricing. A consortium strives to control health insurance costs while maintaining a high quality of benefits. Thus, consortium members have access to health insurance to benefits at a price lower than they could get individually.

Consortiums Offer Convenience and More Choices

Consortiums are advantageous in that they offer conveniences and options such as these:

Affordable coverage

Through pooling together resources, employers are better positioned to obtain more affordable health insurance coverage due to managing savings, economies of scale, and spreading risk. A consortium offers savings on premiums, prescriptions, and more.

Flexibility

Each employer in the health insurance consortium has the option of selecting the kind of health plan or plans that are most suitable for its employees. Additionally, a consortium can provide access to an extensive local and national network of healthcare providers with varying medical, vision, and dental specialties.

Stability

A consortium creates and encourages a stable community of employers as participating members. With a stable environment, annual rate fluctuations are less likely to be less dramatic from year to year. The structure of the consortium insulates members from dramatic rate increases. 

Availability to employees and family members

Employers participating in the consortium may offer individual coverage as well as family and dependent coverage to their employees.

A safe and secure way to purchase health insurance

By combining resources in order to obtain better rates, a consortium not only provides competitive pricing but also helps offset the expenditures during high-cost claim years.

Access to claims data

Since an insurance conglomerate is not administering the plan, members have access to valuable claims data. Data can be collected at pre-defined periods for group utilization.

Important Considerations

Things to consider when choosing a consortium include:

    • Consortium members need to decide whether they will be offering a fully insured or self-funded insurance product. Regulations will differ depending on which is chosen. 
    • Consortium members need to establish a process to select a broker and an insurance carrier. 
    • Consortium members will need to market the plan aggressively.

The Healthcare Consortium Solution

A private benefits exchange may work well and provide better value for employers facing higher-cost or less attractive benefit plans. A private exchange offers a defined contribution. Consequently, employers have more extensive control over what they are paying for their employees’ healthcare. Employers and employees typically have much broader coverage choices than have been available in the past. And, at prices they can afford. If a consortium seems to be the answer you seek for your health insurance coverage, talk with the employee benefits team to find out how a private exchange can help to save money on your current rates and avoid a premium increase next year.

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