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Employee Benefits Now & in the Future: How Do You Compare and Where are We Going?

Camry Blaising, Vice President of Sales & Client Services, Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia (Atlanta, GA) 

Tuesday | 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM | Room 103

Employee benefit programs represent the second or third highest overall cost for many employers. Much of this cost is driven by health insurance programs. Program costs for many employers are escalating at an unsustainable rate. As costs rise, programs are often cut back and costs shifted to employees. The impact of program strategy and decision making has significant impact on both the financial health of your organization and on your ability to recruit and retain a competitive workforce.  

Do you understand how your programs compare to the marketplace and your competitors? Employee benefit programs are changing rapidly and your program positioning may not be the same today as it was just a few years ago. It is critical that you understand your program position and have an intentional strategy for the future. 

What future cost increases can you expect if your program performs on trend? Is this trajectory sustainable for your organization?  

Progressive strategies are developing to stabilize cost while maintaining or enhancing meaningful programs for your workforce. These approaches to program design and cost management are helping employers succeed at controlling costs while attracting and retaining a competitive workforce. 

Learning Objectives: 

  • Understand the current costs and overall competitiveness of your employee benefit program relative to the market.
  • Understand projected future costs based on the current market trajectory.
  • Identify future strategies in program management and cost containment that may be advantageous to your organization.

Camry Blaising has worked in the employee benefits field for the past 16 years in a variety of roles. She has been employed by Northwestern Benefit Corporation for the past 11 years. Her current position is vice president of consulting & client services. In this role, Camry oversees all new business development and client retention efforts at Northwestern Benefit. Camry strategically directs the sales, consulting, account management, wellness, analytics, customer service, consulting support and benefit administration departments. Camry speaks frequently throughout the state on the Affordable Care Act and other aspects of employee benefit planning. Camry was recognized by Employee Benefit Advisor Magazine as one of the Most Influential Women in Benefit Advising. Camry holds the Registered Health Underwriter (RHU) and Registered Employee Benefit Consultant (REBC) professional designations. Camry is a member of SHRM-Atlanta, SHRM and ISCEBS. Camry is current member of the Board of Directors for SHRM-Atlanta. She serves on broker advisory councils for BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia, CIGNA, Kaiser, United Healthcare and Humana. Camry is a former board member for the Georgia Chapter of ISCEBS, serving as program director in 2012 & 2013. 

Controlling Your Own Healthcare Destiny: Predictive Analytics and Population Health Management

John Hearn, Managing Principal, The Benefit Company (Marietta, GA) & Nick Hendricks, Employee Benefits Consultant, The Benefit Company (Atlanta, GA) 

Wednesday | 11:45 AM - 12:45 PM | Room 103

The healthcare spend in the United States remains poorly managed and non-transparent. The system is broken and fragmented, and various mechanisms are causing the employer to subsidize costs. Well over 50% of a company's claims can be attributed to less than 5% of an employee base. Further, the unit cost of claims, both medical and pharmaceutical, are driving the trend. Learn methods of controlling your cost by proactively managing claims and driving consumer behavior. 

Learning Objectives:

  • Drive effective plan design changes.
  • Proactively engage “at risk” individuals.
  • Reveal facility efficiency.
  • Control long term cost.

John Hearn joined The Benefit Company in 2009 as principal and co-owner. Now managing principal of the firm, John is tasked with developing innovative strategies to support clients interested in managing healthcare cost trends. Such strategies include, but are not limited to, leveraging leading edge knowledge of captives, other alternate/self-funding solutions, population management employee engagement and data analytics. John is also a leading authority on HealthCare Reform and often speaks to industry forums on this subject matter. In 2013, John received the Most Innovative Broker of the Year Award from the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism, and, through his leadership, United Benefit Advisors (UBA) awarded The Benefit Company its prestigious Partner Firm of the Year Award in 2015. John Hearn graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in Risk Management and Insurance.  

As an employee benefits consultant with The Benefit Company, Nick Hendricks is a recognized resource for compliance and healthcare reform navigation. Further, Nick leverages unique processes to bring price and quality transparency to an otherwise opaque insurance industry. He thrives on working with companies which have a focused/productive culture. His focus on multi-year strategy and executive level engagement has led to increased productivity within his client base. Nick is a risk management and insurance graduate of the Terry College of Business at the University of Georgia. Following graduation, Nick joined BenefitMall, a leading general agent in the group health and welfare industry. He provided consulting support to more than 150 unique agencies/brokers in the greater Atlanta area. In that role, Nick gained extensive knowledge on the inner-workings of insurance companies, providers, HR services, and brokers of all disciplines. Through his involvement with SHRM-Atlanta, Nick works with 21st Century Leaders on a variety of strategic initiatives. Annually, Nick serves as an active mentor of a student at The University of Georgia. He also serves on the Young Alumni Board for The Terry College of Business and The Board of Directors for the Japan-America Society of Georgia.