This preventive approach is a positive feedback loop: because employees are taking better care of themselves, both the company and employees are experiencing additional cost-savings.
When asked how their employees have responded to no longer being part of a traditional network, Noel said, “I think they’re beginning to see that, when they talk to their friends and family, they hear about premiums going up and deductibles being adjusted.
“What my employees see is that we have not given a price increase in premiums since we moved…and they have watched their deductible go down by $2,000.”
Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp. has not given a price increase to their employees since they transitioned.
Due to their partnerships and efficiencies built into their plan, Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp. is able to continue adding more and better benefits for their employees, including: premium holidays, $25 monthly premiums for the first three kids added to the plan, covering bariatric surgery, and covering STEM cell treatments for certain musculoskeletal injuries.
The healthcare improvements have also resulted in happier employees and a better company culture.
When asked if the direct partnership has improved company culture, Noel’s answer is clear: “Absolutely.”
“As the Executive Vice President, you look at things that make an organization attractive to employees and keep employees there. What are those things? Culture, benefits, and pay.”
Since Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp. is a non-profit, pay is not typically one of the central things that attracts employees. Instead, they focus on benefits, retirement, and culture.
“Three and a half years ago, I wanted my health plan to be part of our competitive advantage,” Noel said.
Late last year, Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp. hired a new HR Manager. When Noel asked her why she joined, she said their health plan was a key factor.
“When your HR manager – someone who really understand health benefits – tells you that ‘I came to work here at a lower rate because of your health plan,’ that’s pretty amazing,” Noel said. “There’s no bigger compliment than that.”
Another benefit? Northwest Real Estate Capital Corp. has complete flexibility and control of their healthcare decisions.
“[Traditional health insurance providers] had really no interest in controlling costs, educating people, or spending any time on us,” Noel said.
“Those health insurance companies are unwilling to share any insights about what kind of health issues our company was actually having,” Noel said. “That first year, we took the information we had year-to-date to see what kind of issues our employees were dealing with.”
“We looked at issues of heart disease, high blood pressure, heart attacks, all kinds of things. We took that information and applied it to our plan design so that we could create something that would actually benefit our employees.”
“Now, I can have a real conversation about wellness.”