Part 1: Our stop loss market
Because of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), more employers are opting to self-fund their medical programs than ever before. In fact, 60% of all employer groups now self-fund.1
This growth in the market has recently enticed several new players to the stop loss space. The field now includes established direct-writing carriers, new-to-market direct writing carriers, and managing general underwriters (MGUs).
So, what are the most important variables to consider when choosing a stop loss partner for a self-insured medical program? Three primary factors are:
- Contract quality: Is the contract inclusive or exclusive by design? Mind the gap(s)!
- Claims expertise and service: How efficient and proactive is your carrier partner? Cash flow is king!
- Underwriting practices: Is the policy renewal-friendly? Underwriting culture can introduce volatility into the pricing of your self-insured program.
Self-funding a medical plan has many advantages, but along with that comes many responsibilities. Partnering with a best-in-class stop loss carrier can help ensure that the self-funded plan runs as intended and that there are no surprises along the way.
In our evolving stop loss market, are your clients getting what they pay for? Find out more in our next post.
1 The Kaiser Foundation and Health Research & Educational Trust, “Employer Health Benefits 2015 Annual Survey,” 2015.