A long time, indeed.
When we started working with Carmel Wilson of Kentucky Health Administrators back in 2004, both the economic downtown of 2008 and the Affordable Health Care Act were still in our distant future.
ASG Risk Management had only recently been formed, and we had begun to achieve success as a small, independent MGU concentrating on small group self-funded insurance programs. Our founding vision – to build an independently operating company that delivers service levels above industry standards – had begun to gain positive traction among industry leaders.
One of these movers and shakers who immediately got what we stood for was Carmel. “I have always seen ASG as an extension of our services,” she noted in a recent conversation. “The firm is like an arm of the KHA family and has been a great supporter of our mutual growth through the years.”
Kentucky Health Administrators has been active since taking over a book of business for another TPA in May, 2010. “Of course the first carrier I called was ASG,” Carmel recalled. “Since then, our partnership with ASG and Companion Life has made us – a small TPA – look like we have juice. Many times when we are quoting on groups, need a rate, or require a turnaround time, ASG has backed us 100%, making us look like a bigger company that can handle anything.”
She was quick to point out, “And that’s because we can! Just with the customer service piece from ASG, we have the resources to handle a case, a catastrophic claim, or a reimbursement on a claim just as well as a larger TPA.”
With our partnership, Carmel noted, KHA is able to remain more competitive against the big, fully insured companies.
She explained, “Humana and Anthem are the two big rival companies in our area who also offer self-funded plans – but they don’t allow employers to design a complete program. With ASG and Companion, we’ve been able to compete in that market with rate, service, and everything else the big companies offer. Plus, we can customize a plan and offer contracts based on the group’s specific needs, really helping brokers build their blocks of business.”
Target markets for KHA include hospitals, government groups, and even large restaurant chains. “It’s not even a particular industry – it’s really the quality of the company we look for,” Carmel said. “Certainly what helps is if they understand their dollars, and how we help them with the best plan for their business.”
For example, she noted that many groups who come off fully insured plans into self-funded typically have three to four strong years. “But then you hit that fifth year, and you could have three or four people who hit your deductible. So when you’re self-funded, you should be funding to the max and be ready with reserves for when that fifth year hits you.”
For businesses like us, who try our best to partner with TPAs and brokers who share our values, we appreciate Carmel’s loyalty and Kentucky Health Administrators’ dedication.
Carmel summed up our call perfectly: “I don’t think of Companion or any other carrier or MGU just as an insurance payer; if we all thought that we would not survive. We are family, above anything else.”
Well said Carmel!
For more information about Kentucky Health Administrators, visit http://www.kentuckyhealthadmin.com.