Finally, a solid knowledge of science is getting rewarded.
By a health insurance carrier no less.
The last 10 years have seen a slow, unending spiral in the cost of group health insurance rates.
We'll get into the how, why, and what of it so you can get started.
If you want to run your quote, you can do so any time here. There's no cost for our services as Licensed health insurance agents.
Here's the high-level overview. We'll dig into the weeds later.
One of the top 3 largest health carriers nationwide has partnered with ACEC (American Council of Engineering Companies) to offer health insurance to qualified companies.
As licensed group agents, carriers are always touting some new offering and it's usually just marketing hype (anathema to a self-respecting engineer).
We were skeptical of this new offering for this very reason.
We then started to see the rates.
25%. That's not a round error.
Initially, we assumed there was an error with the quote and so we double-checked.
From year to year, it's not unusual to see savings in low to mid single digits between carriers for a given benefit level.
25% is not that!
So...our next thought...what gives?
We enquired further as to how this carrier was able to do this.
After all, this was a full network offering...no skimpy doctor lists.
It was one of the strongest carriers in the country. No fly-by-night, bogus company.
Their response was interesting.
It's pretty genius.
You do go to the doctor more and check any little thing but you also tend to take the needed meds as instructed and avoid the big hospital bills.
That last one is huge.
In fact, the vast majority of health care costs are tied to facility-based care.
Think hospital, surgicenter, etc.
The 80/20 rule is in full effect here. Even more so.
Roughly 90% of health care costs in an insured pool comes from 5% of the insured.
Think of chronically ill, heavily medicated, and facility frequented.
Open heart surgery can run $100K. Chronic diabetes can run $40K. Hep C can run $60. Annually. Dialysis...$5K monthly. On and on and on.
Guess what, engineers (on average) avoid these situations more than the average.
That's the genius behind the carrier's move.
You have to hand it to them. Innovating while their industry is in existential peril.
So what did they do?
They partnered with an Engineering Association, one of the oldest and most respected in the country.
They took large group benefits and composite ratings and used them as a scaffolding for small companies (size 1-100).
Look...as engineers, you have to respect their ingenuity in approaching this problem. (health insurance cost, that is).
ACEC provides the eligibility side of it and also allows the carrier to craft the program in such a way that you receive the savings (association structure).
There is a cost for the ACEC membership but this included in the quote so that you see the net health insurance cost.
By the way, the 25% savings we've seen includes the membership.
You'll also get savings and other benefits from the membership but the real reason is to save on the health insurance.
So...what do the options look like and how do we get the quote?
First, we have a full range of plan options including PPO, HMO, and HSA's depending on your area.
We also have United's full suite of ancillary products such as dental, vision, and life. ACEC is also partnered with Guardian for more robust life, disability, and other products.
The plans are guaranteed issue (regardless of health) and utilize the full carrier networks, nationwide.
This "cafeteria" option is very popular since it allows an engineering firm to plan their budget better while allowing employees to choose plan coverage according to health care needs, budget, and doctors.
This is most exciting offering we've seen in group health insurance (assuming you're an engineering firm) in years!
So, who can qualify?
Basically, we want to be in the 87 SIC codes.
Which firms are eligible to join ACEC in California:
1. Definition. A Member Firm of a Chapter shall be an individual firm, parent firm, branch office, division or subsidiary which meets all of the following criteria:
a. The firm provides independent consulting engineering or land surveying services for clients on a fee basis, and
b. The firm has one or more Individual Members who is a Registered Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor in the State of California, and
c. The firm does not have any commercial affiliations or alliances which would create a conflict of interest with the practice of consulting engineering or land surveying, except that a firm may be a subsidiary of a parent or holding company, providing the firm is independently managed by a Registered Professional Engineer or Licensed Land Surveyor, and
d. The firm maintains an established office or offices for the practice of consulting engineering or land surveying within the boundaries of a Chapter. However, if a firm’s office is located outside the boundaries of a Chapter, that firm may nevertheless be a Member Firm of that Chapter provided that the firm’s membership is approved by both the Chapter in which the office is located and the Chapter which the firm wishes to join.
There is no requirement that the firm be registered by the State.
If you have any questions please contact us at
email@example.com or request your
quote here. We can also send a
secured email to request the census to quote.
The key factor as to whether they will qualify for regular membership is:
Does the company have a registered professional on staff?
Remember, it doesn’t just have to be a registered civil engineer or land surveyor, it can be an whole array of other licensed professionals:
We're happy to help you with questions on ACEC qualification. Please email, call 800-320-6269, or run your quote here.
It's easy...and free.
Please complete the quote request form here.
You can also send census data securely to us. Just request secured email from firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll send a secured email.
You can look at the form what is required but it's basically:
Since it's treated like large group, the quote process generally takes about 5 days since it's technically under the Large group wing of the carrier.
We'll turn your quote around right away and expedite the entire process.
United has a similar Association health plans with the National Restaurant Association here.
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