Zane Benefits, a PeopleKeep company, has made news as a thought leader on a tricky topic: President Donald Trump's latest executive order.
The order, which aims to alter several tenets of federal health care policy, has generated no small amount of press coverage. While the bulk of that coverage deals with the order's political repercussions, there's a larger conversation to be had about its effect on the direction and future of the employee benefits market.
Employee Benefit Adviser columnist Shan Fowler offered his thoughts in an article published Tuesday, October 24.
In "Executive, legislative actions on ACA could transform healthcare market," Fowler examines the individual directives in Trump's order and concludes they could "usher in the true 'defined contribution' era in employer-based health benefits."
Fowler also noted that Zane Benefits is at the forefront of these changes.
"The order to expand use of health reimbursement accounts may be truly disruptive. Some of us have been waiting for a move like this since we first heard of what Zane Benefits did several years ago by advising small employers to send their employees to public exchanges but give them tax-deferred dollars to spend there ... Now, Trump appears to want to expand that idea."
PeopleKeep and Zane Benefits have long championed this approach to employee benefits, called personalized benefits. With personalized benefits, small businesses give employees tax-free money to buy the consumer services they want most.
Fowler expounds on the value of a personalized benefits approach, writing:
"Employers are paying billions of dollars in administrative fees alone every year for their health plans, and we've seen healthcare costs rise much faster than inflation for decades. If employers could wipe out both the cost and the burden of that administration in exchange for simply benchmarking the right tax-preferred defined contribution to give their employees and then letting them shop for their own health insurance—and have their employees be happy with that arrangement—then you'd be hard-pressed to find employers who would not opt for that approach over the current system.
You can read Fowler's full article here.
You can also read more about personalized health benefits, which include: