by Dianne Kiehl
Just What Does Your BHCG Membership Fee Get You?
From the Executive Director

At this time of year when Business Health Care Group employer members have recently renewed their membership in our organization, it’s fitting to consider the subject of the true value of BHCG membership.  As part of our strategic planning last year we undertook significant market research to help us identify how our stakeholders and the community perceive us and how we can improve our communication and marketing efforts.  One of the findings that came out of that research was that we need to do a better job of communicating the BHCG value proposition to our membership, their advisors and the community.

The BHCG continues to be the only unified employer voice for health care purchasers in our market. Thanks to the collaborative effort and involvement of our employer members and provider partners, the BHCG has made remarkable progress in slowing health care cost increases for our members over the past six years (the most recent data shows BHCG costs were lower than southeast Wisconsin costs as a whole, Midwest costs and national costs). But that’s just the beginning of the story of how employers walking in unison and working in collaboration with strategic partners can benefit employers, consumers, our health care market and our region.

We know many see the BHCG as simply a purchasing group. Although the more than 105,000 BHCG member lives carry considerable clout in our market when it comes to negotiating pricing, perhaps more importantly, it gives us an influential platform that allows the BHCG to be at the forefront of efforts to improve the value of health care – both cost & quality – that benefit all of us.As a group, we ask for and expect accountability from both health care providers and consumers. We do this through collaborative activities with providers and our strategic partners that support initiatives such as innovative payment reform, transparency of costs and quality and consumer engagement

These are all big picture efforts that ultimately allow the BHCG along with its strategic partners to “drive meaningful change” in our market. But let’s get back to the “what’s in it for me?” question that each employer must ask themselves before considering membership or renewal in BHCG.  In addition to the opportunity to benefit from the group’s purchasing power and influence in the market, what are the unique benefits BHCG employers receive in exchange for their membership fees?

  • Dedicated service BHCG membership includes access to a dedicated Humana service unit exclusive to members that is continually audited and held to performance standards.
  • Support from the top the BHCG enjoys robust CEO support and involvement that lends considerably to its success in the market which benefits all employers – from the smallest to the largest.
  • A wealth of knowledge – one of the intrinsic benefits of employer collaboration is the opportunity to share best practices and learn from one another – the BHCG provides employers with an effective forum to do just that. We also have access to legal and consultative resources to help employers navigate compliance issues and we publish a tri-annual topical newsletter with in-depth information on timely issues of importance to our members.
  • Tools and resources for employees & dependents Humana offers online transparency tools that are fully supported through the dedicated service unit. The BHCG also offers employers access to exclusive arrangements with strategic programs such as informed decision making and  consumer engagement education that meet best practices criteria. In addition, we offer turnkey employee benefits communication documents.
  • Purchasing power with vendors – the BHCG has negotiated preferred contractual vendor pricing with vendors whose services are of interest to our member companies (e.g., preventive care, health care advocacy and benefits communications).
  • Opportunities to learn – the BHCG sponsors a series of educational forums, seminars and workshops for employers and their advisors that feature topics and issues for employers to utilize in managing their health care dollars and benefit programs effectively.

Membership in the BHCG gives each and every employer a chance to participate in a strategy that works – and a way to join forces to effectively face the future together. As issues like health care reform, cultural change and the economy continue to shift the health care landscape, BHCG employers can feel confident there is strength in numbers to find effective solutions and, yes – drive meaningful change that lasts.

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