Boyne Resorts’ Achieves 21% Drop in Health Insurance Premiums

HSA Option Proves to Boost Participation, Promote Wellness, and Create Personal Accountability
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BOYNE FALLS, Mich., November 02, 2009 – Boyne Resorts, the largest family-owned four-season resort company in North America, today announced its successful transitioning of eligible team members to a Health Savings Account (HSA) option for insurance coverage and the introduction of wellness programs has produced measurable results. The four-year process has yielded a dramatic reduction in cost and at a time when many companies are facing premium increases, and Boyne Resorts is proud to announce its 2010 renewal pricing for the same coverage has dropped by 21%, equaling an annual savings of $1,400 for an average family.

With a 60 year history, Boyne Resorts’ goals related to health insurance for qualifying team members include protection through a catastrophic health issue, plans which foster a healthy lifestyle, 100% coverage of premiums for eligible individuals and low-cost plans for their families. Before moving to a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan (BCBSM) plan compatible with HSA, Boyne Resorts was experiencing double-digit premium increases due to heavy utilization of medical services by covered individuals. The use of medical services was tracked through analytical work by Hantz Benefit Services, LLC (HBS), a Southfield based benefit consulting and administration group.

At the situation’s peak, nearly four years ago, Boyne Resorts was introduced by Hantz Benefit Services to the BCBSM HSA option as an alternative to the traditional low/high deductable plans. The option allows for reduced premiums derived from higher deductibles coupled with a pre-tax savings account to offset the burden of that deductible. An understanding of this option among the staff was accomplished through a cooperative effort encompassing accurate, consistent, and repeated education provided to Boyne team members through individual enrollment sessions performed by HBS enrollment specialists.

While Boyne Resorts’ management remained fully committed to the concept, Vice President of Human Resources, Gretchen Crum, simultaneously launched a corporate-wide wellness program.  Keeping team members attentive to good health and wellness practices is a critical component of the HSA’s success and is part of the significant shift this option requires – personal accountability. Participants are accountable for lifestyle choices which affect their overall health and often dictate the frequency of costly medical attention. Since opting to add the HSA to its valuable benefits package, Boyne Resorts charted a 30% migration to this option in the first year, 2006; 50% chose the HSA in 2007 and 70% of eligible team members opted for the HSA plan in 2008.

The increased accountability and maintained focus on wellness has sharply reduced plan usage and the company’s executives take great pride in what the organization’s team members have achieved.

“We are so proud that by addressing the real problem we faced that the continued escalation in health care costs has been arrested and in fact reversed,” said Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne Resorts’ eastern operations.  “Saving the average family over $1,400 in 2010 with the same quality coverage is a huge validation of our collective efforts and the potential of HSA plans to be a major solution to the dilemma we face as a nation. I can only hope that the message of our success with HSA can get out before we make a major and costly mistake in our national reform efforts. The HSA concept could save this country hundreds of billions of dollars.”

In 2009, Boyne Resorts decided to eliminate all non-HSA options available to its employees in Michigan and Montana and based on those positive results, plans to eliminate non-HSA options at the company’s other resort properties in 2010 or by plan year 2011.  The company’s competitive benefits package is now even more attractive, a synergy among a physically active and wellness conscious staff and that of the resort company’s target customer has been created and insurance coverage among the staff’s younger population is at a record high.  In an attempt to provide the very best to its valuable team members, Boyne Resorts has succeeded in placing accountability for responsible healthcare in the appropriate hands and eliminating unwarranted penalty of those not abusing insurance plans.

Stephen Kircher, president of Boyne Resorts’ eastern operations, is available for interview; please contact Erin Ernst at eernst@boyne.com or 231-549-6832 to coordinate.

About Boyne Resorts

Boyne Resorts is the largest family-owned four-season resort company in North America; founded by Everett Kircher in 1947. A Michigan-based corporation, Boyne Resorts owns and/or operates award-winning mountain and golf resorts and attractions throughout the United States and Canada including Cypress Mountain near Vancouver, British Columbia, official freestyle skiing and snowboard venue of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, Sugarloaf and Sunday River Resort in Maine, Boyne Mountain, Boyne Highlands, The Inn at Bay Harbor – A Renaissance Golf Resort and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark in Michigan, Big Sky Resort in Montana, Loon Mountain in New Hampshire, Gatlinburg Sky Lift in Tennessee, Brighton in Utah, Crystal Mountain and The Summit at Snoqualmie in Washington. For more information on Boyne Resorts, please visit www.boyneresorts.com.

MEDIA CONTACT:

Boyne Resorts
Erin Ernst
(231) 549-6832
eernst@boyne.com

Resort & Golf Marketing
Dave Richards
(248) 642-6420
dave@resortandgolf.com

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