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John Krebsbach with ACEC Life Health Trust joined the podcast to recap the August 26th webinar, Health Insurance 101 and discussed the many options offered by the Trust to help engineering firms take care of their employees.

Transcript

Host:

Welcome to another edition of Engineering Influence a podcast from the American council of engineering companies brought to you by the ACEC Life Health Trust. And today we are featuring the life health trust. I want to introduce John Krebsbach. He is the director of sales for the Trust. And recently the Trust just finished off our R3 sponsored webinars series. It was the final in a series of webinars that have been sponsored kind of as a service to members in response to COVID-19. And the webinar took place on August 26, then it's available online. We'll link to that in the show notes, but really the webinar focused on insurance plans and something which is I'm sure, a mystery to many people who are very busy running their firms, very busy, making sure that their employees are happy and may not have the direct exposure to what insurance plans are meet up above or why it's important, or how do you choose one. So having John on the show is great today, because he can kind of expand on what was discussed in the webinar a little bit, but also give some good information about insurance plans. So John, thank you and welcome to the show.

John Krebsbach:

Hey Jeff, thanks so much. Appreciate you and ACEC National having me today. You know, I, I'm always really excited to have opportunities like this, Jeff, to provide the value of the ACEC Life Health Trust to all ACEC member firms and prospect firms. But thanks for having me today. My name is John Krebsbach. I'm the national director of sales for the ACEC Life Health Trust, a little background I've been with the trust for just over two years and prior actually spent over 10 years at United Healthcare. And most of my time at United Healthcare, believe it or not was working with the trust. So I've I've been around the program for quite some time.

Host:

Yeah. And the Trust has been around for quite some time as well. I know a lot of our members are familiar with it, but for those who aren't, I mean really it's a 55 year anniversary this year for the Trust. And can you go a little bit more into kind of what the trust is focused on, what the mission is and why it's so important and tailored for the engineering consulting industry?

John Krebsbach:

Yeah, absolutely. And thanks for, thanks for calling that out. Like you said on May 1st, actually May 1st of this year, the ACEC Life Health Trust celebrated 55 years of supporting ACEC member firms. And we're, we're extremely privileged to continue that role. It's, it's clearly stated in our mission, which, which we feel is very simple. You know, we're the ACEC Life Health Trust is here to provide healthcare benefits, solutions, and services to support the business objectives of ACEC member firms and the health and wellbeing of their firms, employees and family members. You know, I think you could argue the ACEC Life Health Trust, Jeff, is one of the biggest benefits of being an ACEC member.

John Krebsbach:

You know, I also, we believe our vision along with our mission, our mission is very compelling, you know, with, so well, I'm sure we'll get into it here. With all of our programs, medical, ancillary value added services, we, we really feel we can establish the consulting engineering industry as one of the healthiest industries across the U.S.

Host:

And you the trust, I mean recently right as the pandemic was kind of hitting its peak did something for its members, which was very beneficial. And that was that $10 million loyalty credit. What was that?

John Krebsbach:

Yeah, that's something that myself and rest of the associates at the Life Health Trust are very proud of, you know, this, this is an example in my opinion, Jeff, that just screams our mission in really being there for our member firms. So, you know, back earlier this year, when, when everything was going on the board of trustees Pat Fayen, president of the ACEC Life Health Trust approved, like you said, over $10 million in a loyalty credit that was given back to all of our member firms as a one-time invoice credit on August 1st. So we're, we're very excited to have the opportunity to give back to our member firms in that loyalty credit. And again, a piece that really lives by our mission of being here and giving back to our member firms.

Host:

Well, that's great, John, and I know that the trust has done a great job trying to keep members informed about different aspects of insurance and the services that the trust provides. And you've done a number of webinars for ACEC in the past. And of course the one that just happened recently on the 26th of August was how to buy insurance 101. Go a little bit into what was covered in that webinar, you know, for our members that that is available online on acec.org and the education area of the site, you can go back and see that on on demand, but what was, what was the main focus there and the big takeaways?

John Krebsbach:

Yeah, you're right. It was really how to buy insurance one-on-one piece. You know, insurance costs are among the top three expenses that a business takes on each year. And you know, what, what may have seemed simple in the past, Jeff with limited options has now become at times confusing as far as what plans and programs are available out there for each state, for these businesses. So the webinar from last week, which you referenced, allowed us the opportunity to break down the steps, to really understand how to purchase the right specific insurance plan for your firm.

Host:

And one of the things that I know was covered was, was what makes up an insurance plan. And I I'm guilty of this. I, you know, don't pay as much attention to this as, as I probably should. And I don't really spend time thinking about how plans and premiums are calculated and really what goes into them. Can you go a little bit into how those plans are and the premiums are constructed?

John Krebsbach:

Yes, absolutely. You know, you're looking at roughly four categories when it comes to insurance premiums, you know, those, those four different buckets that we're looking at are you know, we look at the expected medical and pharmacy claims for a specific firm. There are obviously administrative expenses which include taxes and fees. You have a profit risk margin, which is really looking at the amount of risk which I can kind of get into here a little later of how much the employer wants to pay. And then at the end of the day, it's really trying to figure out the premium, what is the per member per month pricing? You know, I think it's, there's a huge benefit. Jeff looking at the ACEC Life Health Trust in that we have multiple plans and programs available to ACEC member firms. You know, we're not just locked within one specific plan design.

John Krebsbach:

So we really have the ability to quote fully insured through United Healthcare. We have our, which was talked about last week on last week's webinar, the select level funding program, which utilizes Meritain the TPA and Aetna as the network on the ACEC select level funding plan. This plan is available in 33 of the 50 States. And then we have our, our advantage plan, which is available to firms that are typically over 100 employees in size and are currently self-funded or looking to move self-funded. So, you know, now all these programs aren't necessarily available in all states. But like I said, Jeff, there, there are many states where you could technically request a proposal for all three of these programs, which again, I think is just a huge benefit of the life health trust,

Host:

That scalability, right? It's that ability to be able to go and say, you know, how big is your firm? What are your needs? You know what exactly absolutely. You know, what's the level of covers that you want to have and how you want to structure that you guys can really focus in and design a plan that meets the needs of the firm.

John Krebsbach:

Absolutely.

Speaker 2:

So as it goes with, with insurance, I mean, I know you mentioned like, you know, the fully insured or the fully, the fully insured versus self-funded what are the big differences between those two?

John Krebsbach:

Right. So, you know, I look at what let's look at all three fully insured, level funded, self-funded. And again, I really encourage the listeners to refer back to last week's webinar because that really gets into the, into the weeds on each three of these funding types. But you know, for today's opportunity, Jeff, you know, I like to look at it from on a scale, you know, low risk to high risk, you know, fully insured is really non non-refundable premium, right? The, the insurance company assumes all the risks there. So there's low risk and low reward. Then you move into, as you get further on you know, the scale to higher risk, you know, you look at level funding, it's kind of right in the middle where the employer assumes some of the risks. And then self-funded is obviously the opposite of fully insured from a it's more of a high risk, high reward set up.

Host:

Now John, I know during the webinar the focus was put on the trust select plan and you went into some detail about what that plan offers for our listeners. Can you go into a little bit about about what was discussed about that?

John Krebsbach:

The select level funding plan, you know, you're looking at a handful of key, key advantages you know, really attentive to service. We have a dedicated customer service and account management team that's available to answer any the firm and broker questions to meet their specific needs. Like I mentioned earlier, it's the select level of funding plan utilizes Meritain as the TPA and, and it's on the Aetna network. So it's a very broad national network. The Aetna choice POS 2 is, is the specific network, Jeff that that's on. So thousands of hospitals as well, as more than 75,000 pharmacies nationwide when it comes to that broad national network. And then when you're, when you're looking at, you know, specific plan design options, we have over 80 plans in that product portfolio that are your traditional PPL plans. And then we have over 30 of our, of the plans within that product portfolio that are our more high deductible health plan options for health savings, qualified health savings account type plans.

John Krebsbach:

And, you know, lastly, again, just as far as availability goes the ACEC select level funding plan is available in 33 of the 50 States. And for listeners feel free to go to ACECLifeHealthTrust.com where you can find really those key advantages that I just listed off and an availability map of where that is available. And again, like I mentioned on last week's webinar, when it comes to the 33 of 50 States, that just means that your, your site - your headquarter location needs to be in one of those 33 States. But if you find that your firm has offices standard across the country, that may land in one of the non 33 of 50 States, you can, the, the entire firm can still take advantage of that ACEC select level funding plan.

Host:

Hmm, that's important to note, I also noted that, that on the webinar it was discussed that there is, you know, risk protection for firms with the select plan that the firm kind of decides on what they want to set their premiums to be. And that means that they don't have that risk of paying at the end of the year. Right. So if the claims come in or the firm actually gets that money back, they're not on the hook for that.

John Krebsbach:

Absolutely. That's and that's a fantastic point and one to call out because we don't typically see that, Jeff, in the open market with other arrangements. So yes, our ACEC Select Level Funding Plan essentially has two options. We can look at an aggregate only where all of the group claims roll up to one aggregate account. The second option, which is just an enhancement here recently is the individual stop loss where we can put in based on state ruling, state regulations, anywhere between 10,000 and 50,000 individual stop loss. And really how I look at it is you're just, you're buying that extra protection for your group. So you know, anything that is left over in that surplus in that claims fund at the end of the contract period, whether it's with either option yes, that that firm gets that entire amount back. The ACEC Life Health Trust does not keep that money. So really an amazing opportunity for firms to keep their costs down and in and enjoy that savings. And like I said, you typically don't see that amongst other arrangements across the country where you'll see a, a share of that cost 50/50, 70/30. So again, the firms get that entire amount back.

Host:

So, that's good to know number one, number two is, you know, with the variety of options that plan and the others present for members. I mean, it's kind of a, it's a lot of options to choose from. If I'm a firm CEO or, you know, if I'm in operations at a firm and I'm trying to out, okay, how do I navigate this? Can you go on a little bit into how the trust works with firms to kind of identify what they would need to select a plan that adequately not only covers the employees that they have, but also creates an environment where they can attract talent and, and retain the talent that they have?

Speaker 2:

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, we're, we're very open to all groups reaching out to us. You know, a lot of our business, we work through broker channels. So, you know, for listeners please feel free to reach out to us directly for any questions that you have around the plans and programs that we have. You can work through your broker and we're more than happy to connect with your broker again, on the programs and plans to really sit down, look at, look at maybe what, what you, as, as a firm are currently on where you want to go into the future. You know, we can, again, to my point earlier, it's, it's a huge value of the ACEC Life Health Trust to be able to look at different funding options and not just be locked into one. And again, if you're in any one of those unique States, we, we may have the opportunity to look at multiple options for you and you know, find out which one's the best fit and put our best foot forward.

Host:

And with 55 years of history behind you, I imagine that you have that institutional knowledge of what works best and what states and how similar firms similar sizes kind of navigate this. So I imagine you have a lot of historical information to be able to assist clients with making the right decisions.

John Krebsbach:

Absolutely, absolutely. We can absolutely look at you know, again, based on a firm size what firms of that size are typically electing within the trust. Yes, we can look back at that and really help paint a clear picture for these, for these firms.

Host:

I know, we went into the kinds of different plans that are out there and available with the levels of risk levels of coverage. But I know that the trust also offers a number of value added services with all the plan that they offer. What are some of those additional services that, that clients can take advantage of to plus up their plans?

John Krebsbach:

Yeah, Jeff, you know, this, this goes back to our vision, you know, in my opinion of really establishing that consulting engineering industry is the healthiest industry across the U.S. So, you know, with that, our member health and wellness is such a high priority, which is why we invest in and also offer, like you had said our value added services. So again, it's, this is not a, a stop to look at the health insurance plans, but you know, real quick, we have partnerships with United Healthcare and guardian when it comes to the ancillary benefits. So we're talking dental, vision, life, disability and then our value added services. These are again, very important. Our designed wellness program is our specific wellness program designed by engineers for engineers. There are three different levels of design wellness all of our ACEC Select Level Funding firms that move over will be automatically put into our basic program.

John Krebsbach:

And really Jeff, what it is, is based on the group's participation engagement, they can work, work their way up the ladder, if you will and receive different incentives for both employees and spouses. And then, you know, one of the other value added services, which I would argue has been a very hot topic of conversation is our design virtual care program. You know, a statistic that I think the audience will not be surprised with is telemedicine has the utilization has doubled since the pandemic started. So again, a very important very valuable added service that we provide with everyone that, you know, is maybe a little weary going into the doctor with everything that's going on. This is a service that includes 24 seven, three 65 tele-visits and then just recently we've added some enhancements. We have a behavioral health service back care dermatology and expert medical services that are embedded into the design virtual care program. And then we also have a design advocate service, kind of a patient advocacy tool, and then benefit solver, which is an enrollment and eligibility software solution. So for the HR audience out there, that's a program that could really take a huge burden off their plates.

Host:

That sounds like something, you know, especially, I just recently had my first ever video conference doctor's appointment where it was just strange, almost like a zoom call with the doctor, but, you know, every week, you know, so dispersed and working remotely, you know, having access, if you're a smaller firm and you have a program that allows you to have your employees engage in telemedicine that's a big benefit because that's the kind of thing that, you know, the big, you know, bigger firms definitely have. And the same with the enrollment eligibility software, that, that that's something that will speed the process for HR managers at, at smaller midsize firms. So those are, those are all value adds that I can see actually that, you know, adding value to an engineering firm.

John Krebsbach:

Absolutely. I mean, the, the, the trust, you know, one of our values is innovation and we are constantly looking at new upcoming value added services that are, that are going to bring value to our ACEC member firms. Again, back to emission, we are, we are here to serve the ACEC member from population, their employees and families. So we will, we will continue to look at new, up and coming latest and greatest services that we can bring into our portfolio to continue to add that value a lot like the design virtual care program and the others.

Host:

Absolutely. That webinar is up online for everybody to look at it goes into much more detail that was took place on the 26th. And it's again, it's the title of that is How to Buy Insurance 101. Really encourage all of our members and listeners to take a look at that webinar and get a little bit more of a deep understanding of the offerings that the trust provides member firms, especially when it comes to selecting coverage and selecting a plan. John, you know, for, for our conversation here, you know, kind of just going over these broadly, is there anything that we missed that you want to make sure that our members know?

John Krebsbach:

No, I don't think so. Jeff, you know, I think just the one thing I would ask is, you know, first off for the audience, you know, just that the ACEC Life Health Trust really values and appreciates the opportunity to serve those that are participating in the life health trust. You know, we have roughly 1,500 firms, Jeff that are taking advantage of the ACEC Life Health Trust. There's just shy of 4,000 firms across the country that are dues paying members. So we really appreciate that business. And for those that are not participating in the life health trust, it does not hurt to take at least a look. There are a lot of programs out here that, you know, we, we rolled through here today. And we'd, we'd love to earn the business and take a look at that benefit package.

Host:

Well, John, again, you know, our members are pretty aware of, you can be found on the web at www.aceclifehealthtrust.com. And for you in the sales department, where can people reach out and contact you?

John Krebsbach:

Yeah, my contact information email john@aceclifehealthtrust.com, or you can simply email sales, sales@aceclifehealthtrust.com. Everything that we discussed today, Jeff is on our website, www.aceclifehealthtrust.com, including contact info.

Host:

Well, that's great, John, thank you so much for coming on the show. This is really good information, especially these days with the focus being so much on health wellness, and just living in this remote work environment here you know, having a strong insurance plan is part and parcel with that. So really appreciate you being able to go a little bit more into what the trust provides its members. And thank you very much for coming on the show.

Host:

Thanks, Jeff. And thanks for everybody listening in. Hope you all stay safe and well, and we'll talk to you on the road.

Host:

And again, this has been Engineering Influence, a podcast from the American Council of Engineering Companies brought to you by the Life Health Trust. We'll see you next time.

 

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