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A Summit client with locations nationwide was working with Summit to address its medical plan renewal. It was facing a double digit increase, and was evaluating the best practices in controlling costs. While cost control was important, the client wanted to also maintain its competitive benefits and high levels of service to its employees. It was considering a consumer-driven “High Deductible Health Plan” for its employees, specifically a plan to be linked with a Health Savings Account. The employer was quite concerned, however, about the complexities of the design, especially as its employee population was spread across the country, and these employees had differing levels of education and comfort with the healthcare system.
“High Deductible Health Plans” are increasingly used as a way to engage employees as “consumers” in the healthcare process, and maintain benefits cost control. That said, part of the challenge of these plans is that they operate very differently from “traditional” health plans. The deductibles apply very broadly to services, employers and individuals often set up separate investment accounts to manage uninsured costs, and employees generally need to manage their healthcare plan in a much more involved way.
Our experience has shown that participant education is absolutely critical to the success of such a plan. In this case, we worked with the health plan carrier to develop Open Enrollment materials that were substantially more robust than traditional informational packets. We scheduled and led open enrollment meetings at 9 locations across the country. We presented 12 online webinars for interested participants, and we introduced a dedicated “800” line staffed specifically to answer questions about the new plan. We hosted ongoing conference calls with the employer, the insurance carrier, and the bank (which managed the investment accounts), to ensure that all was progressing according to plan. When there were challenges, we were able to address those in a timely and efficient way. The end result was that the enrollment was a complete success. The employer was able to control its costs, and its employees were supported throughout the process, with 97% choosing to participate in the new plan.
Our approach to implementing benefits changes is an involved and collaborative approach. We understand that implementing benefits changes does not end with choosing a carrier and plan design. The education that follows is critical to the success of the program. Therefore we dedicate significant resources to providing group, one on one, online, and phone support to our clients and their employees. Our success of Summit is always directly linked to the success our clients have in servicing their employees.
The preceding are hypothetical case studies and are for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance and results will vary. These studies do not represent actual clients but a hypothetical composite of various client experiences and issues. Any resemblance to actual people or situations is purely coincidental.