By Nick Soman
Why do people join your association? And what convinces them to stay?
As an association executive, you want to offer your members painkillers, not vitamins: to provide solutions to the things they’re worried about. According to Gallup’s April 2019 poll, the availability and affordability of health care is Americans’ No. 1 worry. And with open enrollment coming up in November, this is about to become top of mind for your members again.
Health care is too expensive, especially for people who buy their own. A single person in Texas earning more than $51,000 per year doesn’t get a dollar in subsidies from the government to offset the price of their health insurance. Health care for a family of four in an average PPO plan costs over $28,000/year. Median family income is about $59,000.
Your members need help with their health care costs. And you can help them.
You have a few options.
If your association is large and your membership consists only of companies with two or more employees, you can partner with a health insurance carrier to develop plans. Members will pay the carrier a premium to cover their health care costs. Rates will depend on your scale and the health of your membership.
Want lower rates and more flexibility? You may have heard that 80% of large U.S. companies self-insure to save money on their health care costs. If your association is large and you have time and budget to set up and manage this effort, this is something you can offer your members as well.
These options have been around for a while – you may have considered them and dismissed them due to cost or complexity. If your membership includes self-employed people and sole proprietors, now there’s a new option to consider: partnering with an organization already offering plans.
Many Chambers of Commerce and local affinity groups offer plans that may suit your members. As an example, the Texas Freelance Association (TFA) worked with a third-party administrator to help self-employed people and sole proprietors (think realtors, attorneys, dentists, CPAs, independent contractors, freelancers, you name it …) band together and get better rates, the same way big companies do. TFA now offers the most affordable comprehensive plans for self-employed people in Austin – the fastest-growing hub for skilled freelancers in the USA – and plans will be available throughout Texas and beyond soon. TFA is now partnering with premiere associations and organizations with self-employed members to offer additional benefits like discounts and branding so that your members get the benefits, and you get the credit.
As an association executive, you work hard to give members what they want.
If you want to give them affordable health insurance this year, you’ve finally got options.
Nick Soman is the CEO of Decent, a third-party administrator that helps associations offer affordable health insurance plans to their members. He can be reached at [email protected] or 707-234-5671.