Prevention is Better Than the Cure

By: Nic Hayes

Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman in America to receive a medical degree; however, doing so was not easy. Along her journey to obtaining her degree, she was met with discrimination and obstacles from both professors and local townspeople alike who pushed back against her for defying her gender role. Despite the challenges, she graduated from Geneva College first in her class in 1849. Upon graduating, she brought a pioneering spirit to medicine by emphasizing preventative care and personal hygiene as she realized that doctors often caused epidemics by failing to do something as simple as washing their hands between patients. Her emphasis on these areas led to her motto being “prevention is better than the cure.


Today, Blackwell Captive Solutions looks to carry on the pioneering spirit of their namesake, Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell. Blackwell provides a medical stop-loss captive solution for self-funded businesses of any industry with the goal of making premiums more affordable, more transparent, and less volatile year over year for clients.


A Captive as a Shock Absorber

What is a captive exactly? A group captive is a legal entity that’s jointly owned by a group of, in Blackwell’s instance, unrelated companies. As a group, these companies are brought together in a pulled risk structure. With this structure, Blackwell is able to spread the risk out mathematically and absorb some the unsustainable shock to high dollar claimant costs with premiums and alleviate some of that.


Risk distribution occurs when particular risks are combined in a pool with other, independently insured risks. Thus, a captive is a shock absorber that is able to reduce the impact of high-dollar claimants and unsustainable changes for your plan.


Trend Towards Self-Funding

After the Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010, a number of employers began to shift from fully-insured models to self-funded models. Currently, over 60% of all employers in the US are self-funded as they are all trying to reap the benefits that come with it. However, a 2020 white paper study published by SunLife found that claims between 2 million to 3 million are growing more than 44%, and with specialty drugs, gene therapy, and other high-cost claims, these numbers have continued to rise and rise. So, for smaller employers coming over to reap the benefits of self-funding, these premium increases are completely unsustainable for them.


Similar to Dr. Elizabeth Blackwell, instead of trying to find the cure to rising premiums, Blackwell Captive provides a solution that prevents employers from experiencing rising premiums. As a captive solution, Blackwell makes self-funding affordable for smaller employers as well as using their cost-containment provisions to reduce premium number making the stop loss element more sustainable, more predictable year after year for their clients.


Reducing Barrier to Entry

What makes Blackwell’s solution so different from competition is their ability to meet employer groups where they are. As shared by Blackwell’s President, Kari L. Niblack, “We pride ourselves on actually solving the healthcare puzzle, customizing our solution based upon each individual client’s business and financial needs, versus forcing clients to simply purchase a non-negotiable solution via a narrow selection of brokers. All consultants and all clients are welcome at Blackwell.”


Blackwell firmly believes that consulting is paramount within a client relationship, so with their experienced team, they are able to come to any table and uniquely match a captive solution to an employer’s current health strategy.


A big part of what makes Blackwell able to be flexible in their service to employer groups is their approach. In their conversations with employer group leaders, Blackwell wants to know their long-term strategy, what recruiting looks like, what drives their business model, and what has resonated with their employees. Blackwell puts an emphasis on knowing these things because the more their team understands what drives their client, the better they are able to put numbers on a package that will be sustainable long-term.


What a Captive Can Do for You

Today’s customers expect a highly personalized experience – the essence of self-funding. When executed well, such experiences drive long-term client engagement and loyalty and allow Blackwell to not only differentiate from other captives, but also, allow their clients to gain a sustainable competitive advantage.


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