Eldeco Nominated as Finalist for Arthur J. Gallagher’s High Performing Health Plan Award
Eldeco was honored to be one of the three companies nominated for the Southeast High Performing Health Plan Award at the 2017 Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. HPHP Summit in May. Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. considered the health plans of over 1,400 of their clients to determine the nominees for this prestigious recognition. This award is specifically intended to reward companies that “don’t hang their hats on being average,” according to their Summit website, and considered such criteria as having below average medical trends for the last three years, company wellness participation at 60% or higher, and overall creativity in plan design.
Eldeco started making significant changes to their benefit plans in 2009 due to a “wake up call,” as the CFO Steve Reynolds described it. “Costs went through the roof – we were seeing rising double-digit increases impacting the company as well as the employees.” To help devise long-term solutions, Eldeco brought in respected experts from the Arthur J. Gallagher team to harness their creativity and passion for the industry. With their help, Eldeco began crafting deeper, richer benefit options. “We need[ed] to provide our employees with more than a safe work environment and a paycheck,” Reynolds said.
The Eldeco Wellness Program was the first and one of the most significant solutions to come out of these meetings. This Wellness Program provides a wealth of opportunity for employees to benefit several times over. The first benefit many employees notice is the financial incentive. By completing a simple annual physical, employees receive a significant discount on their premium costs. And by completing it within a certain time frame, Eldeco covers the first part of their deductible – allowing employees to pursue care they might otherwise feel unable to afford. But the benefits don’t stop there. Eldeco partners with WellAware Founder, Jessica Shuford, who reviews all results and reaches out to employees who have high-risk areas identified during their labs. Jessica works with the employee to help them pursue treatments, and start making decisions to lead to a healthier lifestyle. “[Employees in] our industry are constantly traveling, and many do not have easy access to their primary care physicians,” said Michelle Reed, Eldeco’s Director of Human Resources. “Partnering with Jessica gives us a way to help bridge that gap for them.”
During the eight years that the Wellness Program has been in place, employee participation has always exceeded 65% and averaged 82%. Employees are taking advantage of the Wellness Program in ways that have had significant impacts. Yearly reports show substantial and continual decreases in the overall BMI, Blood Pressure, Glucose and Cholesterol levels of the company employees. The company’s and employees’ medical costs and the employees’ insurance premiums have all been substantially below area and national trends. And examples of anonymous employees who have made significant improvements in their personal health are a constant reminder of the importance of such a program. “The most exciting thing about our Wellness Program is seeing the individual victories and knowing that we have been able to affect our employees in such a positive manner,” says Reed.
Eldeco also goes well beyond just the traditional options like Medical, Dental, and Vision for their employees. Other options include voluntary benefits such as Accident and Short Term Disability insurance, or company-paid benefits like Quit for Life for tobacco users and MAP – a program that, among other things, allows employees to find the medical services they need at the lowest cost in their area. Eldeco also focuses on employees’ financial wellness – offering resources like meetings with financial advisors, retirement presentations, and ongoing communication with tips to help ease their financial burden.
In an effort to continue improving and expanding their offerings, Eldeco introduced two brand new benefits at their June Open Enrollment. The first is the option to use Blue CareOnDemand – an online service where a physician can answer questions, diagnose symptoms and call in prescriptions for complaints such as cold and flu symptoms, ear infections, migraines, allergies, and many more ailments. Eldeco will cover all costs of this benefit for the first year to encourage employees to try it. The second new benefit is the opportunity to have a discounted membership with Gold’s Gym handled through payroll deductions.
Eldeco’s Company Culture is built on five Core Absolutes – the first of which helps shape and support all of Eldeco’s benefit offerings. “People are our greatest asset.” “We need to care about each employee as a person – they are part of our family, and we want to take care of them in a 360-degree way – helping everywhere we can,” says Reed. In order to ensure that employees have the support and access they need, Eldeco has doubled the size of their HR department in the last year – hiring people who have passion and zeal for communicating and assisting their employees in every aspect of the employee’s life cycle.
So what does the future hold for Eldeco and their company benefits? “Well, this is the fun part,” says Reynolds, “strategically thinking through the options available and consulting with experts in their field to guide us as we move forward.” In the future, he sees the opportunity to “embrace technology in our drive to change people’s lives for the better.” But overall, he emphasized that Eldeco’s main focus will always be “continuing to give employees the opportunity to say, ‘I want to make a change,’ and giving them the tools they need to do it.”