3 Questions Featured

8:00pm EDT May 26, 2009

Sidney Morgan is president of Humana Inc.’s Central Florida commercial operations and has spent more than 20 years in the health care industry. His career experience spans hospitals, government health insurance programs and commercial HMO/PPO environments. Morgan oversees commercial operations and development and implementation of Central Florida’s strategic objectives. Prior to working for Humana, Morgan was president of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida’s West Florida region for five yeas.

Q. How does renegotiating your health benefits help save you money?

It’s like anything else. If you take the time to really shop and understand the plans that are out there and the costs associated with the various types of plans, then that itself will put you in a position where you can make a better informed decision. The employer has to take the time to get educated, has to take the time to understand the plans available to them.

Q. How much time should employers spend studying health care costs?

They should spend the same amount of time looking and understanding their health care opportunities as they would with any other line item on their budget that is as large as health care. Look at that line item. Do something. Take control. An example of something they can do is just implement a wellness program in your organization. A lot of people think that wellness is just really this nebulous thing, but it really isn’t. It takes time to see the benefit, and I think that’s where people have difficulty with it. You can just go out and have your agent tell you what plan to use and you can sign and move forward. Or you can say, ‘You know, my health care costs are driven by my health care spends. So if I lower my health care spend, then that will positively impact my future health care costs.’

Q. Do employers need to have more communication with their providers on how to save money?

Employers should have more communication directly with the carrier, but they also should feel comfortable that it’s OK (for) them to influence their employees’ behaviors.