Date: February 27, 2017
A national article has put Hutchinson Traylor in the spotlight for its “fresh ideas and new funding techniques” as an employee benefits consultant. The West Georgia-based agency is probably best known as a property and casualty insurance agency but it has grown to add strategic investment and benefits services. The insurance industry publication Rough Notes recognized HT in February for growing an innovative and “robust employee benefits platform.”
About a decade ago, Hutchinson Traylor Executive Vice President Edward Smith noticed employers were struggling to manage rising healthcare costs. “For many employers, benefits had risen to become the second or third highest business expense,” he told Rough Notes. “For the most part, they were limited to fully insured health plans with perpetually increasing community rates.”
Today, employee benefits are Hutchinson Traylor’s fastest growing segment, as they serve both small and large area businesses. The agency offers everything from human resources consulting and technology implementation to high-performance network design and provider contract negotiations. HT’s expert advisors look at cost, coverage and control to help companies combat double-digit increases.
One unique strategy is alternative funding, which shows small employers how to find self-funding opportunities for a portion or all of its costs. HT’s employee benefits account executive Mike Stone calls it “a long term economic policy” that “can yield substantial rewards.” The benefits management team seeks out creative options for its clients and also meets regularly to share successful tactics as they brainstorm new ideas.
Another way to drive down costs is with HT’s prescription drug program, which has helped employers uncover immediate savings. The agency provides a suite of medical advocacy services through its WellTree program, which Smith believes is a good companion to company health plans. It provides 24/7 access to an on-call doctor, nurse and health coaches, as well as discounts on dental, vision and even veterinary care for pets.
HT has also helped Kia Motors launch an onsite employee health clinic at its local manufacturing facility. Smith told Rough Notes that it can “deliver a significant return on investment” because of its high utilization by employees who are more likely to seek early treatment. “They provide frontline health services to employees, giving them an opportunity to get regular medical tests and maintain care for both regular and chronic health conditions,” he added.