This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
For small businesses, providing health care benefits for employees is one of the greatest challenges. In many cases, paying a health insurance premium is a business' second greatest expense behind wages and salaries. And as the cost of health care continues to skyrocket, some businesses have been forced to either not offer employees benefits or drop the coverage they previously provided.
Zions Bank has teamed with UnitedHealthcare to develop an innovative solution for small businesses with between 20 to 200 employees. A health care benefits program has been created through a unique arrangement of Zions Bank products and UnitedHealthcare's services. This program, called BeneFund, will potentially increase the number of businesses that can provide their employees with health benefits.
BeneFund makes self-funded health benefits plans affordable and safe for small businesses. Unlike traditional insurance premiums, these plans allow small businesses to pay only their employees' claims instead of grouped premiums.
The components of BeneFund include a self-funded health plan benefit, a dedicated deposit account to fund health benefits, a pre-approved revolving line of credit at Zions Bank and a stop loss insurance policy to protect against catastrophic claims.
The real innovation of BeneFund is the dedicated line of credit from Zions that pays claims if they exceed the accounts' balance. The line of credit ensures employees' health care costs are covered and makes sure payments in the account remain constant.
Commissioner Merwin Stewart of the Utah Insurance Department summed up the significance of BeneFund when he told me, "I am a huge proponent of companies benefiting Utah's citizens by getting creative and developing original solutions to the challenges faced by our state's employers and families — this is that type of innovation."
For more information on BeneFund, contact your local Zions Banker.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball speaking on business.