Expert’s Advice: Opt Out of Company and Group Healthcare Plans

February 07, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Business News
Consultants working at firms should consider opting out of their company healthcare plans, or at least removing their spouses and children from them. Those working as independents should purchase healthcare insurance on their own, not through a group plan, says “The New Healthcare Insurance Solution” author Paul Zane Pilzer in an exclusive interview in the February 2006 issue of Management Consulting News.

Pilzer tells those employed at firms that “… your employer is the last person you should want to provide for your healthcare, from a privacy, financial, and value standpoint. Employees with families should get the family, meaning spouses and children, off the company plan. In most cases, that will save them money.” Employees should then consider whether or not it makes sense to move themselves to private policies. Pilzer predicts that large firms will soon offer an opt-out option that includes Health Savings Accounts (HSA), which set aside tax-free money for healthcare purposes.

Pilzer’s advice for consultants working independently is similar: consider individual insurance with one of the “Blues” rather than participating in a group plan or relying on a spouse’s plan. “Many people participate in a group plan in one way or another, thinking they are getting a benefit, while in reality they’re not, he notes. “They may not be aware that the individual health insurance market has become more efficient and cheaper in the last few years. Now it’s a better value than group insurance.”

For those who manage their own firms, Pilzer suggests not offering a traditional healthcare plan at all. Rather, he says, “… the best choice would be an allowance program, an HRA, which you would start with roughly whatever you are currently contributing or would contribute to a group plan. Every employee gets an HRA allowance to spend on health insurance and other health items, and whatever they don’t spend rolls forward.”

In addition to this exclusive interview with Pilzer, the February 2006 issue of Management Consulting News includes:

•Should Clients Trust Your Sales Pitch?, by Charles H. Green, author of Trust-based Selling.
•An article about client rage
•Note to Ethics Consultants
•And additional items of interest to consultants

The February 2006 issue of Management Consulting News may be read online at Subscriptions are complimentary.

About Management Consulting News – published since 2002, Management Consulting News is a monthly online newsletter with interviews, articles, and news for consultants worldwide. The editor of Management Consulting News, Michael W. McLaughlin, is a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP and co-author of the book Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants (Wiley, 2005). For more information see