Hello, Dr. Keith Smith with you on behalf of the Free Market Medical Association. Thank you for joining me.

So, you’re a self-funded employer and your planned expenses go up year after year. This is all in spite of transferring even more of the financial burden to the employees through the form of high deductibles. You hear from the consultant or through your HR team that everyone’s expenses are going up because of their hard work. Yours have actually not gone up as much as some, so in some weird, contorted way, you’re the winner. You become aware, however, that some of your colleague’s with self-funded plans are doing things in a different way. They’re actually buying care for their employees through their self-funded plans more directly. They’ve shoved all of the ticket scalping intermediaries aside and have experienced giant savings, and you’re aware of this. If you want a hundred reasons why you should not do the smart and responsible thing for your self- funded health plan and buy directly, ask your broker. If you’re fortunate enough to have had an ethical broker actually bring you solutions and methodology that allows you to buy directly, you are one of the lucky ones and you have a good one.

Many times, when you ask the broker “why can’t I buy directly, too”? You’ll receive the answer in some statistical format. I have come to label this statistical answer StAgendics. For, after all, these are statistics that are conjured up to completely mask an agenda. The agenda of the broker, after all, is to ensure that you only buy through complicated intermediaries. Many times, each one of which, renders a commission to the broker or the brokerage house for making you take this circuitous and very expensive path. Keep in mind too that these statistical answers come to you based on information you have not seen. Sometimes it’s information you are not allowed to see, as carrier contracts many times and typically preclude a client from actually viewing their own data.

Come to the Free Market Medical Association meeting next month in Dallas. Meet those who will basically confirm to you that you’ve been lied to – who will also share their incredible savings experiences to you. Meet those who’ve chosen a path, a path that is different than the one that serves only to line the pockets of the consultant and the brokerage houses that they work for. I hope to see you there.

See you next time.