The Pinal Alliance for Economic Growth is currently working to identify a carrier and plan designs to provide its investors with an Association Health Plan. Through this program, Pinal Alliance negotiates on behalf of its investors as if it is the employer offering the benefit. The result is lower premiums and better coverage.
Because health insurance in the United States has been, by and large, provided by employers, the ability for businesses to afford to offer coverage is at the heart of our health care system. And yet, the cost of health care for employers has continued to escalate. One of the reasons is that small businesses do not have the same bargaining power as larger companies. And, because their risk pool is small, they are more vulnerable to steep rate increases than a larger company.
In 2017, a governmental policy change allowed for Association Health Plans to be a more viable option to lower the cost of health care coverage for smaller employers. With this change, AHPs give companies the ability to join with other businesses through Pinal Alliance for Economic Growth in order to broaden the risk pool.
“The rising cost of health insurance has created a situation where more and more small businesses are no longer offering their employees a health insurance plan. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, the share of all employees who work in businesses that offer health insurance and who are eligible to enroll went from 71 percent in 2000 to 64 percent in 2015. For small businesses, the drop was even more dramatic. The share of all employees who work in small businesses (with fewer than 50 employees) that offer health insurance and who are eligible to enroll went from 53 percent in 2000 down to just 38 percent in 2015,” according to a release by the Pinal Alliance.
If you’re interested in joining Pinal Alliance to take advantage of this program, please contact Patti King at 520-836-6868 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pinal Alliance will offer two programs with a variety of plan designs within each:
A fully-insured program where no underwriting is required. Premiums will be established based upon the census data collected, to include age, gender, and employee zip code. Savings estimated under this program are 8.4 percent. An RFP process will be undertaken to identify a carrier for this program.
A partially-self-funded program, where each employer group is medically underwritten. A health questionnaire, which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete, will be required of each employee to be covered. A separate insurance policy issued by Lloyds of London will insure the program, relieving Pinal Alliance of any risk. Not all employer groups will qualify for this program. Pre-existing conditions are taken into consideration. Savings estimated under this program are 23 percent. The Health Plan is the administrator for this program; the network the fits the needs of an organization best will be utilized. In most urban areas, the CIGNA network will be utilized. A network in Pinal County’s rural areas will also be identified.
- Leverage our cumulative purchasing power as an organization
- Collectively share risk to stabilize the rates paid for coverage
- Reduce cost by a significant reduction in administrative fees, which can be as high as 30 percent of premiums paid
Benefit to Pinal Alliance Members:
- Lower premiums (8.4 percent expected savings with fully insured program, and 23 percent expected savings with medically-underwritten program)
- Non-dues revenue stream to association
- Significant membership growth
- All customer service handled by brokers/carriers; member companies may be able to keep their current broker
- Brokers will also offer ancillary products, including prescription, dental, vision, disability, life insurance and other voluntary products.