With more information on how the plan is performing and what's happening with the population of employees that it covers, Ourisman's stores have had minimal premium increases to the plan, in the low single digits for the past four years, he said.
"As an employer, it's our responsibility to provide the best health care benefit that we can for our team members," said Ourisman, a fourth-generation employee in the family business. "In doing so, there's an old adage: if you can't measure it, you can't manage it. And we needed to be more in control of the process so that we could provide our team members with the best coverage possible for them and their families."
The Maryland stores on Ourisman's WellNet plan are Ourisman Chevrolet of Marlow Heights; Ourisman Motors of Frederick, which sells Audi, Lincoln and Volvo vehicles under one rooftop; Ourisman Honda of Bethesda; Ourisman Mitsubishi of Marlow Heights; Ourisman Volkswagen Waldorf and Ourisman Subaru Waldorf under one rooftop; Ourisman Volkswagen of Bethesda and Volvo Cars of Bethesda under one rooftop; and Ourisman Hyundai, Ourisman Mazda and Ourisman Nissan in Laurel under one rooftop.
Kyle Balsis, director of human resources and risk management for Ourisman Automotive, said full-time employees at the stores who elect coverage and the group's management team are on the plan. The number covered has varied from 225 to 250 people.
Many employees already have coverage because their spouses work for the federal government, Balsis said.
When Ourisman switched from longtime provider Kaiser Permanente and from a fully insured plan to a self-funded one, it mirrored the former coverage, but made enhancements for employees, Balsis said. In the first year, the cost to employees remained the same, and increases since have been between 2 and 3 percent a year, Balsis said.
"Our employees went from being able to go to seven facilities to being able to go to thousands of doctors, with no referral needed as long as they're in the network," Balsis said.
Balsis, who gets monthly data reports and can request specific items, can track spending on specialists or what types of prescription drugs members are using. Those reports have allowed the dealership group to make changes that help save employees money.