USI conducted a benefit review for a new client to identify cost saving solutions and to look for methods to increase employee engagement in managing their own healthcare needs The company, an operator of eye exam and eyeglass stores with 600 employees and 50% plan participation, was facing potential layoffs due to the economic environment. An alternative to layoffs was to drastically reduce the employer healthcare costs through significant contribution increases or reduction in coverage. USI identified a claim savings opportunity of 13% by moving to a high deductible plan and offered transparency tools as an additional service to reduce employee’s exposure to overcharging by providers.
The employer reset the employer contributions based on the new plan and offered employees the option to buy up back to the traditional plan. USI initiated an aggressive implementation and communication campaign to explain the high deductible plan and demonstrate the value of the transparency tools. After the campaign, over 80% of the employees elected the high deductible plan, saving the company approximately $284,000. In addition, employees reported strong satisfaction with the high deductible plan in part due to the clarity of expenses provided by the transparency tools.