Tri for Life

Tri for Life

All too often we see products and services that try and “blanket” a wide scope of an industry. While there is some success in this model, the best results are realized in a specialized approach to a problem. Strategic Benefit Alliance, Inc. has created APEX to focus attention on health issues that most people “just live with”. High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Type II Diabetes, and Obesity

In the United States, approximately 50% of all adults have at least one of these conditions.

Through our Lifestyle Management vendor, which has in excess of a 95% short term success rate, these common medical issues can be significantly reduced or even reversed. APEX Membership gives every employee a 24 visit Tri for Life Program each year, along with the Tri for Life Program Manual and the Tri for Life Healthy Cookbook. With education, engagement, and a person’s desire to increase their quality of life the reduction in medical expenses for both the individual and company will be dramatic. A 10% utilization in Lifestyle Management (LMT) could reduce premiums by approximately 8%!

Investing in education and support programs that promote healthy habits in terms of nutrition, exercise and improved health yield greater results.



Businesses thrive on efficient employees. Examine Big Brown (United Parcel Service) and you will find that profits are hidden within all processes. UPS was a pioneer in measuring the “little things”, like which foot a delivery driver used to enter his package car, or using a key ring large enough to fit around his finger. These tenths, or even hundredths of a second added up to substantial improvements in efficiencies and in PROFITS!

Today, we have tele-medicine, an industry that is growing around 25% annually. Tele-medicine is already included in many employer-sponsored benefit programs. It is fast, convenient, and provides results!! On average, a tele-medicine consultation has a smaller copay that traditional in-person physician visits, and employees are shifting to its use at a national average of 30%. However, tele-medicine as it is currently being utilized still creates medical claims affecting the employer-sponsored medical plan.

Through our Tele-Medicine vendor, Strategic Benefit Alliance, Inc. has negotiated a program which has NO COPAY for employee utilization and NO MEDICAL CLAIMS affecting the employer-sponsored medical plan.

With a simple shift of current tele-medicine utilization to our vendor, a company of 100 employees will move approximately 115 visits and eliminate almost $29,000 in medical claims and eliminate almost $5,300 in employee paid copays.

APEX Membership gives every employee unlimited access to tele-medicine. We believe with our education, and engagement tele-medicine utilization will climb to 50%. For the same company of 100 employees, that translates into almost $48,000 of medical claims eliminated and over $7,500 in employee paid copays!

A 30% utilization of tele-medicine could reduce premiums by approximately 3.5%, while our target of 50% utilization could reduce premiums by almost 6%!
Investing in education and support programs that promote healthy habits in terms of nutrition, exercise and improved health yield greater results.

Rising Health Costs

Rising Health Costs

Original by: Kathryn Mayer 1/19/2016

Average cost increases for global employer-funded medical plans are expected to reach 9.1% this year, according to new research by consulting firm Aon Hewitt. That’s 5.5 percentage points higher than the global average projected inflation rate of 3.6%.

The report is significant as it points to rising costs and the increased prevalence of chronic conditions — including high blood pressure, obesity and high cholesterol — as chief contributors to what Aon Hewitt calls a “global phenomena.”

In the United States specifically, the medical rate increase is 5.7% for 2016, Aon Hewitt says.
Though the annual increase for the United States is smaller than the global average, it’s still greatly affecting U.S. employers.
“For multinational companies, aside from significant benefit cost increases, medical trend rates are highly correlated to losses in productivity due to illness and disability,” says Wil Gaitan, senior vice president and global consulting actuary at Aon Hewitt.

Health care costs continue to be a major concern for employers. In fact, a recent survey from consulting firm Deloitte found that more than half of executives at mid-market companies (53%) cite rising health care costs as the No. 1 obstacle to U.S. growth, and more than one-third (34%) refer to it as the No. 2 issue for company growth, behind the uncertain economic outlook.
The Aon Hewitt report is a wide-reaching one, reflecting the medical trend expectations of employer-sponsored medical plans in 90 countries based on reported data from Aon professionals, clients and carriers represented in the portfolio of Aon medical plan business in each country.

Aon says the projected trend rates are expected to vary significantly by region. Both Latin America and the Middle East are expected to see double-digit average medical trend rates in 2016, while Europe and North America will experience trend rates just below 6%. Regardless, average trend rates for all regions are expected to exceed average regional inflation levels by at least 4 percentage points.

The reasons for continuing escalating medical costs are many, Gaitan says. These include global population aging, overall declining health, poor lifestyle habits (particularly in emerging countries), continued cost shifting from social programs and an increase in utilization of employer-sponsored health plans.

Aon Hewitt’s report found that cardiovascular issues, cancer and gastrointestinal issues were the most prevalent health conditions driving health care claims around the world. The top global risk factors cited by the report are: high blood pressure, obesity, high cholesterol, physical inactivity and poor stress management.

“Regardless of the underlying medical insurance system, employers around the world are continuing to experience added organizational cost and lost workforce productivity as a result of these factors,” he says.

The good news is that employers can take action to combat the increase. Aon suggests that employers analyze the root causes of their medical claims and then work to improve their situations in the future. Wellness plans, in particular, are one way to do this. More employers globally are beginning to offer wellness aspects, the report shows, including detection (including physical check-ups, vision screenings and mammograms) and interventions (including tobacco cessation programs, employee assistance programs and physical activities).
Cost mitigation also is being undertaken by employers, Aon says.

“Companies need to increase their efforts to educate employees about efficient use of their medical programs, as they are often unaware of the relationship between utilization and cost,” Gaitan says. “Companies should invest in local education and support programs that promote healthy habits in terms of nutrition, exercise and mental health and other wellness programs.”

Further research by Strategic Benefit Alliance, Inc. has found that the current scope of “wellness plans” are failing due to the employee’s lack of knowledge and understanding of their own health metrics, ie. Blood Pressure readings, Cholesterol numbers, BMI and Blood Sugar. Less than 1/3 of all employees know their key health metrics, and even less know the significance of their numbers and how those numbers relate to their personal health.

Strategic Benefit Alliance, Inc. utilizes both education and engagement to promote participation in the services contained within APEX Membership. It is important that employees understands any wellness program an employer offers. It is significantly more important that employees have the desire to participate!
Employee participation in APEX Membership benefits saves money!

Independent research conducted over a 3 year analysis period by Harvard University found that wellness plans being offered today produce less than a 30% ROI for each dollar spent on wellness plans. The reason for this low ROI is simple, the increasing utilization and rising costs of medical plans far outpace the savings created by healthier employees.

The solution to increasing wellness plan ROI is having the ability to shift a portion of the medical claims associated with wellness away from the core employer benefit program. Utilization of APEX produces a ROI in excess of 100% (between $752 and $1,118) in the first year for the employer. While highly engaged employees have reported reductions in their own healthcare spending between $916 and $1,238 in 2014.

Too Much Medication?

Too Much Medication?

When you get up everyday does your routine involve 1, 2, maybe 3 or more pills or prescriptions? If you said yes, you are not alone. Most American Adults, and about 63% of children in the US are on some type of prescription medication. Whether its a simple anti-allergy medication, or insulin for diabetes, and even more are on high blood pressure medication and cholesterol medication.
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