By Sharael Kolberg, California Business Journal.
By using prediction, prevention, and industry-leading technology – which rewards participants by lowering their health insurance deductibles — BeniComp Health Solutions is preventing — or in some cases — reverse chronic health conditions while simultaneously saving potentially thousands of dollars on health insurance.
“BeniComp is addressing two of the biggest challenges in the industry: skyrocketing healthcare costs and the prevalence of chronic disease,” says Steve Presser, president and COO. “By providing organizations with inventive solutions to sustain the health of the workforce and drive cost savings, we are taking health insurance where it has never gone before.
“There are a lot of companies in our space, but there is absolutely no one doing what we are doing.”
BeniComp’s core focus is Preventive Health Management (PHM), which uses innovative health technology and health professionals to put information into the hands of participating employees and spouses and provides tools to accomplish lifestyle changes to improve their health.
“We empower people with their own data,” Presser says. “The rest of the industry is focused on cost; we are focused on cause. What is the root cause of the claims and the health of the employees? We can lower healthcare costs based on actual data.”
BeniComp’s IncentiCare program is a self-funded health plan solution that helps company’s employees save money. Through the program, “employees are able to earn thousands of dollars toward lower deductibles by participating in an annual health screening and meeting screening goals. This option doesn’t exist in any other insurance product,” Presser says.
Competitors do not offer it, Presser says, because health insurance industry “has been the same for years and years and years. When companies become so big, it becomes difficult to be creative or pivot.”
Most wellness products have a 25-35% participation rate. IncentiCare has an average of 96% participation in annual health screenings by offering large, outcome-based deductible incentives and proactive health coaching. “This ensures that employees make health improvements, unlike traditional, participation-based wellness programs,” Presser says.
The program is based on actual numbers, rather than self-assessment forms. BeniComp’s uses the data for prevention and to help participants adjust their lifestyle. Rather than diagnosing a disease and prescribing medication to manage it, “we don’t want them to have to take the medicine in the first place,” Presser says.
Using data from the annual screening, participants are given actionable items and are empowered to meet their health goals through a preventive plan that introduces personalized nutrition, exercise, sleep, stress reduction, and/or tobacco cessation strategies. If a participant is already healthy, he or she “will automatically qualify for a lower deductible.” The test results are completely confidential and are never shared with the employer.
“If an employee stops smoking, they can save money. They are assuming more of the risk by paying higher deductible. If they lower their risk, they can qualify for a lower deductible,” Presser says. “It is more beneficial to do preventative health care and the easiest way to afford healthcare is to have healthy employees. We are very in favor of forward-thinking, proactive businesses and employees who are engaged.””
Another BeniComp product is PULSE, a proprietary software to serve as a predictive health management portal for companies and individuals that is used to drive employee health improvements and lower healthcare costs. Upon completion of the health care screening, the data is imported into PULSE, which analyzes the personal information and health history to identify the health risks. Based on the risks, participants are provided with the lowest insurance premiums available.
The Pulse platform enables participants to securely access their health information to learn about health risks and engage with preventive health coaches. The health coaches take the time to discuss their health journey including food consumption, physical activity, sleep progress, and mood at no cost to the employee.
“Wearable data is where the industry is going,” Presser says. “Employees are a lot more interested in their health and want to see what’s going on inside themselves.”
BeniComp’s product line also includes BeniComp Select and BeniComp QSEHRA. BeniComp Select enables employers to reimburse key employees for out-of-pocket medical expenses not otherwise covered by health insurance. Used to recruit, retain and reward key executives. BeniComp QSEHRA, Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement, allows employers with less than 50 employees to provide a fixed amount of money per month to offer as a tax-free reimbursement to eligible employees for health insurance premiums and medical expenses.
Through BeniComp’s programs, employers are getting healthier workers, increased productivity, less sick days, and lower insurance claims, Presser says. With so many options for health insurance, companies often don’t want to invest the time it takes to sift through them all. Many are unaware that with the right insurance, including preventative measures, they could save millions.
For the future, BeniComp’s strategy is built around the concept that “the future of health insurance is a health solution,” Presser says. Rather than companies complaining about the cost of paying healthcare claims, “we want to prevent the claims from having to be filed in the first place. People want to live healthy lives, have the energy to do things, and not be in the hospital or taking chronic meds for the rest of their life. By turning the focus to the health of the employees, everyone wins.”
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