At Zane Benefits, we are focused on revolutionizing the way employers provide employee health benefits in America. This month, we launched a new website that fully reflects this mission. If you haven't seen it yet, check out the new www.ZaneBenefits.com.
With major provisions of health reform taking effect in 2014, experts agree the landscape of group health insurance will rapidly transform to individual policies subsidized by the federal government and employers.
Don't believe me? Well, here's some evidence. Yesterday, the NY Times reported small businesses are Dropping Health Plans, to Pick Better Coverage. Quoting Mr. Steve Hooper (a business owner in New York), "when you do the math... it’s pretty clear that in our particular case, everyone is going to benefit if we get out of the [group health] insurance business."
So, I’d like to take a few minutes to explain who Zane Benefits is, the problem we are solving, and how we are solving it. If you want more detail, explore our new website.
Who is Zane Benefits?
Zane Benefits was founded in 2006 to revolutionize the way employers provide employee health benefits in America. We empower employees to take control over their own healthcare, while helping employers recruit and retain the best talent. Our online solutions allow small and medium-sized businesses to successfully transition to a health benefits program that creates happier employees, reduces costs and frees up more time to serve their customers. For more information on our solutions, check out our Product.
What Problem is Zane Benefits Solving?
Health insurance is the single most important consumer financial product Americans purchase today. One wrong step can bankrupt even the most affluent family. Yet, most Americans don’t get to pick their own health plan or doctor network. Rather, they get a one-size-fit-all group health insurance plan chosen by someone else. Due to recent reforms to the individual health insurance market, it no longer makes financial, logical or social sense for employers to continue offering group health insurance plans to employees.
This is because group health insurance:
1. Is unaffordable,
2. Limits employee choice, and
3. Has become socially irresponsible.
1. Group health insurance costs are unaffordable
The average cost to cover an employee with group health insurance has increased from $2,196 per year in 1999 to $5,884 per year in 2013. For family coverage, the cost has increased from $5,791 per year in 1999 to $16,351 per year in 2013. This is not sustainable for employers or employees.
On average, individual health insurance plans cost 20% less than traditional group health insurance, and special "discounts" are now available for plans purchased in the Health Insurance Marketplaces. These discounts, called “premium tax credits,” will help eligible employees buy individual plans at a greatly reduced price.
2. Group health insurance limits employee choice
Group health insurance is broken because you have an employer picking a one-size-fit-all plan for employees and families with very different needs. As a result, most employees have NO idea what their health insurance plan is, what it really costs, or what it covers.
With individual health insurance, employees choose the coverage and doctors that best fits their family's needs. Individual plans are categorized by four standard levels of coverage called "metallic tiers" to make it easy to compare options.
3. Group health insurance has become socially irresponsible
When an employee terminates employment, their family loses coverage unless they elect COBRA, which is often unaffordable. Moreover, when an employer offers employees a qualified group health plan, their employees become ineligible for federally-subsidized coverage which typically offers the same or better coverage to employees for a fraction of the price.
Individual health policies are superior to group coverage for all employees because they are permanent and portable, independent of their employment. As a result, there is no more need for expensive, temporary COBRA.
Our Solution - ZaneHealth
Here’s an overview of the Zane Benefits’ solution to the problem.
We help employees take control of their healthcare. With ZaneHealth, employees:
Employers use ZaneHealth to continue to offer a health benefits program that creates happy, loyal employees.
Here's how it works:
Employer sets a monthly healthcare allowance — a "defined contribution"
Employees pay for their own health plan with their own money — just like car insurance
ZaneHealth reimburses employees for their health plan cost — up to their healthcare allowance
We look forward to your feedback on the new website and your continued partnership in 2014.
President, Zane Benefits