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When Smart People Make Dumb Decisions

Some people I meet will trust me to the level of simply asking “what should I do.” They listen to my recommendations without suspicion and rely on my judgement. I always tell folks what I would do if I were them, not what I want them to do that would benefit me. I have built my book of clients over the years by helping business owners make informed decisions about small group health insurance coverage in TN.

 But often I meet business owners who are well educated and very skilled at running complex organizations. Many times these savvy entrepreneurs, who are successful at one of the most difficult endeavors one can undertake, operating a profitable small business, make some very dumb decisions when it comes to health insurance. They think with their emotions when it comes to health care. They rarely do this in other aspects of running their business.

 Recently I met with a partner in a thriving dental practice. He asked to meet with me because their current renewal for their employees was up over 30%. Their total premiums for their group coverage was over $7000 per month. They said they could not afford this rate increase. I told them of a new option for small groups in Tennessee which was a “self-funded” plan from Aetna. We could maintain their benefits yet lower their total premium to under $5000 per month. This was less than they were paying for their current coverage. The response shortly thereafter, “My partner said he doesn’t want to switch to Aetna.”  “Why I asked, can I talk to him about it.” No, was the response, “he’s not interested in switching.”

 He wouldn’t even look at Aetna as an option. I mean he wasn’t even open to hearing anything about the plan at all. It wasn’t that he had anything against Aetna in particular, they were dead set on staying with their current carrier because that is where they had been for over 20 years.

 We were talking about over $24,000 in additional premiums to stay with his current insurance company. Much of which will come out of the pockets of his employees. There was simply no rational justification for this decision, but it wasn’t mine to make. I can only show a business owner the best option, it’s up to them to trust me, and/or do their own research (which very few have the time or appetite to do.)

 I know how to pay the least amount for the best coverage in today’s small group health insurance market in TN. You can be skeptical for sure, but if you can trust me, take emotion out of the decision making process and view group health as a commodity, you just might increase your bottom line impressively this year while maintaining outstanding health benefits.


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