Texas Business Radio sat down with Franklin Anding, founder of Wellness Innovative Health Care to talk about the state of the insurance industry.
Below is a quick transcript of the interview.
Matt Register: Welcome back to the show, Texas Business Radio. go ahead and get your calls in, 8 4 4 8 1 4 8 1 4 4 is our 24 hour call line. That means call in now, call later, call at 3 o’clock in the morning, it doesn’t matter to us. We’re going to get the experts on here to get those questions answered. There are a lot of ways to get in touch with us. TexasBusinessRadio.com is another way. See the entire thing in beautiful high definition video. Get questions in that way. We also monitor hash tag #TBR on Twitter. So however you want to get in touch with us we’re going to get the experts on here. Health care is something that we’re hearing about on the news. It is something that we’re feeling the pain of as business owners and as a New York City mayoral candidate once said, “the cost of health care is too damn high”. Right, Jay?
Jay Curry: Oh my goodness. If there is turmoil anywhere in the business world right now it’s got to be health care. Between the program and the last president and now a new president trying to bring in one. Wow, what a mess.
Matt Register: It is a big hot mess. But what that does is allows people to come in and innovate and find a way to cram cost out of it for business owners. Because at the end of the day you want to provide, as a business owner, the best health care humanly possible for your people, but you cannot drive yourself out of business, right? And that is what’s happening without some of these innovations. I’m your host, Matt Register, you host. Jay Curry over there in the co-host chair. We have Franklin Anding, who is the owner of Wellness Innovative Health Care here as a guest. Franklin welcome to the show, sir.
Franklin Anding: Thank you.
Matt Register: So tell us a little bit about wellness innovative health care. What do you do? Who do you do it to?
Franklin Anding: Well we work with small business owners, mostly those who have between 10 and 50 employees. And what we’ve decided to do is, as the word indicates, wellness innovative health care we’ve wanted to become innovative by making some changes in health care for small business owners to reduce the costs but also have good coverage for their employees.
Matt Register: OK. So with Obamacare comes penalties, right? It’s a very complex law that hit the scene. What did you see? What did you see in the marketplace that that made you decide something has to change?
Franklin Anding: Well like you said, people were receiving penalties, both individuals and business owners. And it was too costly. But at the same time a lot of business owners couldn’t afford four or five hundred dollars a month per employee. Not to mention the fact that you had to have a certain amount of eligibility and enrollment and a lot of people were not receiving that enrollment number that they needed to in order to put a plan together. And if they don’t reach that amount and they were going to be charged 40 50 60 percent more than the normal rates. So what we had to do was get creative by maybe reducing their costs by increasing their deductibles. But at the same time the employees saw that as something negative. So we had to create programs that would allow the employee to reduce their everyday costs by being able to go to doctor’s office, urgent cares, and paying a very small co-pay and be able to see those as many times they need to.
Matt Register: Well you talked about finding plans that had higher deductibles that turned out to be a very short term solution, right? This stuff is increasing at such a rate that that only bought them a couple of years. And then they have the same problem. They have now have a high deductible plan they can’t afford, right?
Franklin Anding: Correct.
Matt Register: So walk us through very simply what is your plan all about because it kind of flips it all on its head a little bit.
Franklin Anding: Correct. Most business owners have heard of the minimal essential coverage plan that is not catastrophic coverage. That’s to keep the cost down to get them out of their penalties get out of their individual penalty shirt. That is one option. The other option is to have the higher deductible catastrophic coverage and create a membership program that allows their employees to go see a doctor or an Urgent Care for a very small co-pay, that does not hit the claims on the major medical plan.
Matt Register: OK, let me see if I understand this very simply. So you as a business owner would get catastrophic coverage for your people so you have a very high deductible but only catastrophic, you know, somebody has a heart attack it kicks in. But you now have a membership with a set of clinics, a set of docs, that says OK I can go if my kid has strep throat I can go pay a $10 co-pay. I can get a prescription for some antibiotics. I can do something like that. Right? And covers the more minor incidents that stays completely out of the insurance systems. Is that close.
Franklin Anding: That is correct. And it and it becomes very valuable for those who have decided to reduce their costs by moving to a self-funded platform. If you have a self-funded platform you do not want those costs to hit your plan.
Jay Curry: So isn’t this kind of like having two insurance policies, catastrophic that cost a lot of money and then getting a second plan. You’re paying cash for that right? The one I’ve worked with you actually you pay so much a month and then when something comes up you pay for that.
Franklin Anding: That’s correct.
Jay Curry: So it really stays out of the insurance world that you end up having two policies.
Franklin Anding: And in essence two programs would correct and in the membership program isn’t technically a policy. It is a membership program just like if you go to the gym.
Jay Curry: And that’s how they get around the rules. But from what I’ve seen it’s been very successful and just kind of getting started. But really a good alternative.
Matt Register: Well we and we’ve talked to a couple of groups of docs, on this show before, that are have put together a similar plan, but when we were talking during the break I understand that doesn’t get them out of penalties and minimum required coverage does it?
Franklin Anding: No the membership plan itself does not. But if you put that membership program with a program that does get them out of their penalties…
Jay Curry: You still keep the cost down and you get decent with these programs you get pretty good response from doctors and they like it because they don’t have to go through the …
Franklin Anding: And the people and the employees like it. Yeah. Their employers tell me that their employees love the fact that they can go see a doctor. Many times that they want to and not have to pay that high out-of-pocket costs.
Jay Curry: Now I’ve seen a lot of these programs but there be one doctor one clinic or two clinics maybe four clinics. How do you cover a big area that’s gotten kind unique coming up with that.
Franklin Anding: Right. We had to create a software program that would allow people to sign on and pick a clinic of their choice. And so if you have an employer that has a take for example in the Houston area and you have someone down south someone up north that live and they may work in the same place but they live in different areas the doctors program may not cover both of those areas they have a clinic in the West and the east and south in the north.
Jay Curry: So you do what?
Franklin Anding: So with our program we’re going to go out to other facilities other doctors other other urgent clinics and show them how it benefit them that we can drive patients to them and then they would sign up for our program then that would allow us to add that location for the employees.
Jay Curry: No I like it.
Matt Register: It makes a lot of sense. I mean the takeaway here guys is this is a very very complex problem, a multi-variabled problem and you need somebody that understands how to do this because if you’re not shopping your insurance, you’re wrong. It’s going up 40 50 percent a year and that’s unsustainable. Before you just decide I’m going to pay penalties and not do anything. There are some creative solutions out there that will allow you to provide the coverage that you want to for your employees. Have something that is reasonable as far as out-of-pocket for the company. And have something that’s reasonable for out-of-pocket for the employee as well and the family. So you just got to put a little more effort into it. Got to put a little more thought into it. Got to get a little more creative. And that’s one of the things Jay that all of these laws, I mean the chaos that is Obamacare has, if anything, has unlocked a creative forces in the insurance industry because they haven’t had much of a choice.
Jay Curry: The doctors are offering these new programs that people like Franklin can can connect to that that will replace what’s going on. It’s a mess and one is very creative.
Matt Register: Yeah no doubt. And with the Trump administration’s attempt to revamp or change your.
Jay Curry: Find a solution somewhere, give us flexibility to be creative.
Matt Register: The only thing that we know for sure is it’s going to be a little job security for you right because you’re going to have to get smarter on the new version of it and figure out how it is so. Franklin Anding is the owner of Wellness Innovative Health Care. Franklin, thank you for joining us.
Franklin Anding: Thank you.
Matt Register: OK. Easiest way to get in touch with you should somebody want to?
Franklin Anding: Go to the web site WellnessIHC.com.
Matt Register: WellnessIHC.com, we’re going to have a link from TexasBusinessRadio.com if you’re driving and can’t take notes. We’re going to be back right after the break. We have to pay a couple of bills. Don’t go anywhere.
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In addition to hosting "Texas Business Radio," Matt is an investment banker and serial entrepreneur from Montgomery, Texas. He is the owner of RREA Media and Register Real Estate Advisors and a Managing Director and Principal at Corporate Finance Associates. He has a BS from the United States Military Academy at West Point and an MBA from Rice University in Houston. You can read more about Matt HERE.