Happy New Year and welcome to the December issue of ACM Capital Partners’ Value Line newsletter. In this issue, we have outlined our approach to our clients’ challenges with Obamacare. Included in this segment is the live interview on Fox Business in December with our founder Jim Martin and Fox Business’ Markets Now host Dennis Kneale regarding our proven solution for the middle market.
ACM FEATURED ON FOX BUSINESS NEWS
Jim Martin was interviewed by Dennis Kneale of Fox Business in December about ACM’s solution to the Obamacare issues (http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2951492614001). Martin was an early adopter of the Consumer Driven Health Plans (“CDHP”) dating back to 2005. He recognized that the newly enacted Medicare law, which had a provision for a unique savings vehicle called a Health Savings Account (“HSA”) together with the CDHP, could have a profound effect on consumer healthcare markets.
“We adopted this program for Avborne in 2005 and became the largest employer in Miami to do so at that time”, said Martin. “Avborne offered the CDHP to its employees in addition to the traditional HMO and PPO plans. Naturally, employees opted to stick to what they knew and favored the well-known HMO or PPO plans. We learned from this experience and began offering the CDHP as the only choice for our clients’ employees thereafter – which was a dose of tough love.” As a result of this strategy, ACM’s clients have enjoyed double digit declines in their premiums annually since adoption.
“It is no secret that healthcare inflation continues to rise at 9% annually.” Yet, according to Martin, annual inflation is 1.2% and wages are increasing by less than 2% annually. For middle market employers, employee healthcare costs pose a serious threat to future earnings. And with the implementation of Obamacare looming, it may get worse before it gets better. Small businesses are also adversely impacted. According to recent studies, small businesses have witnessed their employee healthcare rising 12% annually – which is 5% higher than large businesses rise of 7%.
ACM has implemented the CDHP across multiple industries for employers who employ over 50 full time employees. In the last seven years, we have seen premiums go down by at least 20%. And they have remained lower at renewal. In fact, according to Aon Hewitt’s recent annual survey, CDHP premiums at renewal are increasing 25% less than traditional plans. According to Martin, “installing the CDHP with an HSA component is an excellent hedge against the inexorable rise of healthcare costs in this country.”
EDUCATION IS KEY
While the CDHP is the only plan that grew last year (enrollment up 18% year over year), we still have a long way to go. According to Martin, only 13% of employees across the country chose the CDHP with an HSA over the traditional plans. “Companies have to do a better job educating their employees as to the real benefits of the CDHP program with the HSA – not only for the current year but for the years ahead.”
“Over the last six years, we have partnered with a Fortune 500 insurer and, together, have done a thorough job meeting with decision makers at multiple companies and educating the employees through carefully designed workshops and online tools to explain the real benefits of the CDHP and HSA.” The results of ACM’s work are staggering. The annual savings for these clients reached $4 million annually in 2013!