Open Enrollment as Turd Polishing Season is Over

For 20+ years, Open Enrollment has meant explaining to employees how they’re going to pay more and get less when it comes to health benefits……………………..

Published October 18, 2017

Dave Chase

Founder Health Rosetta Institute (501-c3)/Group (investments); Exec Producer, The Big Heist (Big Short for healthcare)

For 20+ years, Open Enrollment has meant explaining to employees how they’re going to pay more and get less when it comes to health benefits. Vanguard benefits advisors don’t fall victim to the tyranny of low expectations.

A couple days ago, I posted the following: “There’s two kinds of #OpenEnrollmentmeetings going on right now. One type done by old-line benefits broker polishing the “pay more, get less” turd. The second type is delivering good news that the best way to slash healthcare costs is to improve benefits. Fortunately, the folks I know are having a great October delivering good news.” They realize the old ways have devastating consequences on regular Americans and our entire nation. In my new book (free download available below), I described the annual Kabuki Dance employers go through each year that still continues in outdated benefits strategies that exist despite what I pointed out in Chapter 2 of my book — that prices have been flat in healthcare for 5-10 years in the real (not rigged) market.

Employers have been led to believe the best they can hope for is merely a less bad rate increase—despite the fact that there has been little to no increase in the underlying costs of medicine. Craig Lack has said the following about this issue:

“Every year, CFOs ask their human resources (HR) team for a budget increase target. The overburdened and risk-averse nature of HR at most organizations is to preserve the status quo. The insurance companies know this and typically come in with an increase of 11-14 percent; the insurance brokers know this and “negotiate” a less bad increase, staying below the CFO’s budget, and there you have it. Check the box, health care can be put to bed. See you next year. That’s what passes for health care risk management at far too many organizations.”

Big Four Risk Management Practice Leader: “ERISA Fiduciary risk the largest undisclosed risk I’ve seen in my career”

The article on ERISA fiduciary risk I co-wrote with a former securities attorney involved in some of the largest corporate fraud cases in U.S. history outlines the personal liability benefit leaders and outside board members face as cases hit their organizations. Logically, the level of alarm has raised greatly forcing changes to old ways.

I got some responses to my update from the forward-looking benefits leaders I tagged who are delivering the good news to their clients: David ContornoJoshua Jeffries, MBA,SPHRMegan CookJames G MillawayBrian UhligLee LewisAdam Berkowitz, RHU John Humkey, CLUAntione Turner, CEODonnie MarcontellMark WeberJohn W. Sbrocco, CSFSKeith McNeilEdward SmithTom DiLiegroChris Van BurenCraig ScuratoJared MeaysAdam KaraliusCarl C. Schuessler, Jr., DHP, DIA, GBDSJohn HarveyGary BeckerTracy McConnellTommy TaylorRobson BakerScott HaasCary GossJoseph Cacciatore, and Justin Leader.

I thought I’d share a few of their comments.

John W. Sbrocco, CSFS: “We had a great meeting today with a group of employees to discuss how premiums would NOT be increasing like usual . Their copays would be lowered and the new out of pocket for major services would be $0 for members who make smart healthcare decisions. Talk about a trifecta!”

Adam Berkowitz, RHU: “My favorite time of year! Had a discussion last week with a prospect (local bank) and asked: what is your current strategy for cost control? Answer: we don’t have one. (Slowly slides copy of The CEOs Guide across the table…)”

David Contorno: “Well said! Do you know how much more I enjoy my job when I get to tell employees that their out of pockets are going down, their co-pays for maintenance medications are going away completely, that whats coming out of their paychecks are staying flat or going down and all the while lowering total plan costs to the employer? Another 20 years of this and it will make up for the first 20 years of doing the opposite!”


Follow the link to the book below for a free download of the book.


Dave Chase is the co-founder of the Health Rosetta Institute (a LEED-like organization for healthcare), Managing Director of the Quad Aim Fund, Executive Producer of The Big Heist, and author of the book, “CEO’s Guide to Restoring the American Dream – How to deliver world class healthcare to your employees at half the cost.” Chase’s TEDx talk was entitled “Healthcare stole the American Dream — here’s how we take it back.” The Health Rosetta Institute is transitioning from two years of self-funding/bootstrapping and recently achieved 501-c3 status. See the Health Rosetta Institute website for how to get involved, resources and how to join others to support its mission.

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