2018 Large Group View from the Top
Rob Carnaroli, Sutter Health Plus Vice President of Sales, was recently interviewed for an article published in the October 2018 issue of California Broker. The following are his responses. You can read the full article here.
What are the most important trends affecting large groups in California? For example, do believe the AHP rule will have an impact on the large group market?
One of the biggest trends I see that impacts large groups in California is the external market pressure to re-imagine what health care should look like. This includes pending mergers between large pharmaceutical companies and insurance carriers, and with non-health care companies like Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway and JPMorgan Chase. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is another disruptor spending significant capital to influence health care delivery. All of this places a heavy demand on the traditional healthcare marketplace that we elevate the model and look for ways to become better. It is no longer about just price, benefits and network—digital capabilities, unexpected convenience and modernization are the real motivating factors.
As far as the latest news on the federal government allowing association health plans, AHPs, for small groups, I’m not convinced this is the silver bullet for small groups and associations. It’s certainly too early to opine on how this will play out in the large group market.
How are you advising brokers to deal with all the uncertainty about health insurance reform?
While there’s still much uncertainty around the current health insurance reform, the most important factor in any future proposal is that it protect health care coverage and keep the existing reforms that have positively transformed health care delivery in place—especially for consumers. At Sutter Health, we have a clear path forward based on what we know consumers want and need from us: access to high-quality and affordable care.
It’s incumbent upon the consulting community to stay current on state and federal changes and how local, regional and national payers and providers are innovating amidst all this—and then share this information with clients and advise them as subject matter experts.
What are the most effective ways to sell to large groups?
The most effective way to sell a large group is to deliver on the commitment of quality care at an affordable price. At Sutter Health, we believe it’s critical that employers see the value we bring to Northern California and our continual focus on innovating to meet customer demands. The launch of Sutter Health Plus in 2014 and the recent formation of a new joint venture healthcare company, Sutter Health | Aetna, introduced new health plan options for employers to purchase for their employees. New models that combine the delivery system with the financing of care give us the unique opportunity to work toward a goal of operating more efficiently, coordinating care among providers to improve outcomes, creating a differentiated member experience, and making healthcare more affordable. Additionally, today’s consumer expects innovation in health care beyond the traditional brick-and-mortar provider office—they want new and convenient front doors such as retail clinics and virtual care—and that’s something we’re now able to deliver through walk-in care centers and video visits. Employers see the value in this and recognize what we’re offering—and they want it for their employees.