In today’s economy, providing a health plan for your employees is part of doing business. In fact, 56 percent of small firms and 98 percent of large ones oer health benefits to at least a portion of their workers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s 2018 Employer Health Benefits Survey. 

This makes finding the right plan even more critical. Many businesses are discovering a new way to manage their healthcare—by achieving affordability through predictability with a balanced funding health insurance solution. Balanced funding solutions are fairly new in the healthcare industry, but they’re rapidly growing in popularity. The option allows a business to pay a fixed amount each month. With balanced funding, costs don’t fluctuate throughout the year so businesses benefit from the predictability. 

At Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona (BCBSAZ), we recently introduced our own balanced funding solution designed for self- funded businesses with 15 or more enrolled employees. Wondering if balanced funding could be right for your organization? Here are five reasons to consider it. 

1. It’s easier on your budget. Having a fixed monthly cost takes the guesswork out of budgeting. (The only potential for cost fluctuation would be a change in enrolled employees and dependents.) What’s more, businesses may find they actually qualify for a lower fixed monthly cost than what they are currently paying.1

2. Small businesses can save big. Large organizations aren’t the only ones that can benefit from this option. A balanced funding plan could save a small business up to 30 percent more than an Affordable Care Act small group plan.

3. It’s all-inclusive. With a balanced funding plan, the monthly payments you make cover everything—administrative services, stop-loss insurance and claims liability.

4. The potential for refunds. Here’s where the story gets even better: If annual claims are lower than expected, businesses have the ability to earn dollars back. This isn’t true of every balanced funding plan out there, some providers retain a portion of the surplus for themselves. BCBSAZ’s plan returns 100 percent of the surplus to renewing businesses.

5. There are no surprises. This is where having a predictable solution can really pay off. Even if your annual claims end up being more than what your business has paid, you won’t owe additional money.

BCBSAZ’s balanced funding option offers significant benefits, and there’s one more consideration you’ll want to keep in mind: service. At BCBSAZ, we’re dedicated to providing tangible results, with monthly reports that enable you to track your healthcare trends and costs throughout the year. We can also help businesses reduce costs with innovative offerings like BlueCare Anywhere, our telehealth solution. By giving members the ability to access care from their mobile devices, BlueCare Anywhere helps reduce unnecessary emergency room and urgent care visits, saving members money.

Our Concierge Model of Customer Care delivers a one-and-done solution where customer service representatives quickly and accurately provide members with answers to their questions about claims. With this level of service, as well as our reporting tools and telehealth program, we are making healthcare easier and more affordable. 


Mike Tilton is general manager of commercial business for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Arizona