ECCHIC Holding Health Insurance Cost Seminars in Kansas

March 3, 2004

Employers Committed to Control Health Insurance Costs (ECCHIC), a network of insurance brokers and employers committed to stabilizing medical benefit costs through proactive and creative cost management methods, will present three free seminars on Health Insurance Cost Management in Topeka and Wichita.

The seminar in Topeka will be held on Wednesday, March 10 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Capitol Plaza Hotel, 1717 SW Topeka Boulevard. The seminars in Wichita will be held on Thursday, March 11, and Friday, March 12 at the Olive Tree Bistro, 2949 N. Rock Road. Lunch will be provided at each of the sessions. Small business owners and individuals with health insurance concerns are invited to attend these informative seminars.

According to ECCHIC, health insurance benefits are the fastest growing cost center for employers today. At the same time, these costs are also often the least evaluated, managed, analyzed and understood by employers. Often, employers know the total cost of co-pays and premiums but not the amount actually spent on health care, which could potentially be quite a bit less than is spent on pre-paying for health care through insurance companies. At the same time, doctors and providers are being paid the same for their services today as they were five years ago, even though health insurance premiums escalated over 70 percent during this same period of time.

“The vast majority of medical payments that are processed by insurance companies are less than $100.00, costs for which insurance was not originally meant to cover,” said Howard Danzig, the St. Louis-based cost management expert who founded ECCHIC. “Auto insurance doesn’t cover the cost of replacing tires or batteries and homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover the cost of fixing a faulty furnace, yet the reason medical insurance has become so cost prohibitive is because it is used for affordable, predictable expenses that should be paid directly to healthcare providers.”

ECCHIC is advocating a program that is based on cost efficiency and evaluation of actual claims costs.

By reportedly helping employers contain costs and only pay for the health care that is provided to employees, ECCHIC has substantially stabilized costs for participating employers, including a number of hospitals, school districts and private companies. Several ECCHIC employers have reportedly experienced unchanged budget and cost contribution levels for benefits for three or more years in a row with no decrease in benefits. Further, after detailed cost analysis, all participating employer groups are spending less than they would have using their old methods of shopping around for the lowest rates and adjusting benefit packages for employees.

ECCHIC reportedly emphasizes that employer groups must access medical services at a non-inflationary discounted rate thus reducing the cost of benefits by approximately 30 percent. The group also educates employees on how to purchase major medical insurance efficiently to meet need and risk.

Those interested in attending an ECCHIC workshop should register by calling 800-280-0010.

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