This month we are excited to talk about a relationship we’ve had for a bit, but one with a twist, as there are some recent developments and partnerships in play that we’re super excited about.
Anyone who has worked with us for any time knows that we are big believers in telemedicine, and we have had a lot of client adoptions during the last few years for obvious reasons. Our clients also know that at H|BC, we are constantly looking for better solutions that work in the small business environment. I will likely take this sentiment to the grave, but I do not understand why so many big benefit vendors, agencies, and consulting firms only want to work with larger businesses. Yes, it is more difficult to work with small businesses as they often do not have HR professionals or benefits staff, but there are more small businesses in this country than large businesses (to the tune of hundreds of thousands more). I will likely never understand why more people don’t take the time to figure out how to help SMBs in this underserved segment. I am baffled by the constant dishing up of nothing but expensive ACA plans and expensive scaled-down offerings with no service. But I shouldn’t bite the hand that feeds me, as the reluctance to serve SMBs is good news for people like me who are trying hard to help make a difference in this space. There is a ton of opportunity in this space as it is where the bulk of American jobs are created. Anyways, I’ll get off my soapbox and on to the subject of this article.
We are very excited to announce that we have partnered with First Stop Health. For the first time, we are now able to roll out a very affordable telemedicine program that is priced better than anything else we have seen in the market. What we love about First Stop Health is that they are proactive. Our experience has been that some of the larger telemedicine providers want you to sign up, but if your employees use the program, they want to nickel and dime you at renewal time. Their” utilization” calculations are also very suspect. Unfortunately, most of these companies are more concerned about a stock price and profits than actually providing a benefit that people will use that adds value for an organization. Some big companies don’t do anything proactive other than sending a monthly invoice. Anything else would require work and might cost to develop, for heaven’s sake.
This is where First Stop Health is different. They do reach outs to your employees regularly. If you are an employer with more than 50 employees, they will put some skin in the game and make utilization guarantees that if these guarantees go unmet, they will refund a portion of what you have paid in. We’ve seen similar guarantees like this on large group health plans when a vendor really wants someone’s business, but we’ve never seen this approach on the telemedicine side, and guess what, WE LOVE IT!!
The other super cool thing about First Stop Health is that they usually do NOT work with smaller businesses, but we have partnered with them and starting this month, we can start building our own client-based association plan where small businesses of any size can join the program and get access to these great benefits at very low price points, similar to what a large employer would pay.
Their pricing for telemedicine benefits, bundled with mental health benefits, is comparable to what the other vendors are charging for health / urgent care telemedicine with no mental health bundled in, and there’s no cost when you call in to use the service.
Also, like most telemedicine companies, the monthly fee covers the employees and their household, so it’s a slightly different pricing model than what you typically see for health insurance.
We are super excited to roll this much-needed benefit from a solid vendor out to our small group clients for the first time. If this is something you would be interested in learning more about, or if you have any interest in updating your current program or even rolling out a telemedicine benefit for the first time, please let us know. We expect the utilization to go through the roof on the telemedicine side now that we have a partner who will be proactive and help remind your staff that the benefit is in place.
As always, thanks for the read, and if there’s anything benefits-wise we can help with, telemedicine-related, or anything else for that matter, please let us know.