Social media giant, Pinterest, is just the latest company to abandon its traditional health insurance model for a self-funded medical plan. The company switched to a self-funded medical plan at the beginning of 2018 to address the company’s dissatisfaction with the cost of its fully-insured plan, as well as the lack of service.
Alice Vichaita, head of global benefits at Pinterest, said, “Nobody remembers how good health benefits are on paper, but everyone remembers what the experience is like. Despite all our efforts and thoughtfulness, the traditional health insurance experience was letting us down.”
According to a survey by the National Business Group on Health, health insurance premiums are projected to increase by 5% for the sixth year in a row in 2019. Under the fully-insured model, employers pay a pre-determined premium to an insurance company to pay claims. Often, actual healthcare costs incurred by an employer’s employees are much less than the insurance premiums paid, which is how an insurance company makes a profit. By adopting a self-funded medical plan, Pinterest and other employers can better control their healthcare spending and can retain this profit for themselves.
Pinterest’s self-insured medical plan will save it money by allowing it to pick and choose coverages from multiple providers. In fact, the initial estimate of Pinterest’s cost savings by adopting a self-insured medical plan is $500 per member household. Instead of facing the industry average increase of 5%, Pinterest expects to reverse the trend and see its medical costs decrease by .3%.