Car Dealer Insider Mar 15, 2008
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Car Dealer Insider Mar 15, 2008

Auto group get a better grip on health insurance without squeezing employee benefits

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Auto group get a better grip on health insurance without squeezing employee benefits

When Stan Skarda joined Southern California's Conant Auto Retail Group back in 2000, it had a fully-insured, full-indemnity health insurance program. The organization, better known as The CAR Group, was shelling out a lot of money for this coverage - and had little understanding of how it was being used by employees.

"I didn't know if they were going to their doctors and if emergency rooms were being used or properly used. It was always bothering me," Stan tells _Dealer Business Briefing.

Today he knows where The CAR Group's health care dollars are going, which is helping enable the nine-franchise outfit to offer a relatively rich plan for an auto dealer or retailer.

Preventative care is paid for 100 percent, without being subject to the deductible, and there are very few limits on hospitalization once a plan member has been admitted and provides their co-pay. Roughly two-thirds of The CAR Group's approximately 950 employees are currently enrolled in its health plan. In aggregate, it pays just under 75 percent of the cost of the plan for employees - more than many dealerships.

Stan's secret weapon: a partially self-funded health plan, now in its third year, which gives The CAR Group more control and visibility regarding health care expenditures. Twice a year, it goes over all claims with administrator Great-West Healthcare to learn where money is being spent, which gives it a better idea on how to tweak its plan.

Among other things, Stan is able to see paid medical claims in different price ranges, number of hospital admissions, and which drugs are being used. The CAR Group also sees how its medical expenses stack up to Great-West's book of business nationwide and regionally.

New plan design

The CAR Group kicked off its current plan year Feb. 1 by switch-ing to a... (301 of 1203 words)

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