A Florida dealer believes he has found a solution to a long-standing problem for businesses and their employees: rising health care costs.
Greg Balasco, owner of Lakeland Automall, which sells Ford, Hyundai and Genesis vehicles, switched in late 2020 from traditional health insurance with a big-name provider to a self-funded plan that he says saves hundreds of thousands of dollars and helps him retain employees who view it as a perk. The new system includes a doctor — through what's called a direct primary care program — who works out of the auto mall once every two weeks and is on call to employees at all hours.
The initiatives have helped Lakeland Automall cut its health care costs about 25 percent, reducing its expenditures by more than $150 per person. Nearly half of its roughly 275 employees are insured through the plan.