When Joey Huang, co-owner of Great Lakes Auto Network in Ohio, looked at the cost of providing health care insurance to his almost 300 employees, he figured there must be a cheaper alternative.
What he found — self-funded insurance — has cut employees' premiums by thousands of dollars a year, saved the group more than $1.8 million over six years and helped Great Lakes expand from three dealerships to six, doubling its work force along the way.
"The savings for us has been incredible, but I'm more interested in how this has impacted our employees," Huang said. "They have saved money and received better care. That's what we find most rewarding."
Huang said he prides himself on analyzing best practices of other businesses — from luxury retailer Nordstrom to other dealerships — and seeing how innovations can be shaped to work in his auto group. He had a particular interest in researching insurance options, given his training as a dentist and familial connections to physicians and other health care professionals.
That research led him to IEN Risk Management in Ashtabula, Ohio, where Great Lakes has a Buick-GMC store. IEN offers plans modeled on the Health Rosetta system, a cohort of 110 independent consultants across the U.S.