A Gravie Employer Case Study: Tiger Oak Media

July 26, 2016

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Like many employers, every year Minneapolis-based publishing company Tiger Oak Media (which publishes more than 27 magazines along with other multi-media projects) anxiously awaited its high group health insurance rate increases. And each year, the renewals got worse—first 7%, then 12% and eventually 18%.

Each time Tiger Oak faced an increase, it would work with its broker to find an insurance company that offered the “best” option. But even after settling with this option, Tiger Oak had to decide how much to cut the benefits, how much deductibles would increase, and how much more employees would be asked to pay out of pocket. The price continued to go up, and the plan benefits continued to get worse.

Despite worsening benefits and increasing costs, Tiger Oak had no intention of changing. Like many employers, the company’s leaders thought this was the reality of offering competitive benefits. They worried that dropping their group health plan would be like throwing their employees to the wolves; employees would have to find their own plans, pay for their plans themselves, or worse—go uninsured.

But then Tiger Oak found Gravie.

Tiger Oak executives learned about Gravie through an employee who had a great experience with Gravie at her previous job. Although the employee’s recommendation was compelling, Tiger Oak CFO, Marcel Gyswyt, was skeptical and really didn’t want to deal with more health insurance sales reps. But Gyswyt reluctantly decided to hear Gravie out.

Gravie gathered details about Tiger Oak’s group plan and compared them to what Tiger Oak could expect to spend with Gravie using Gravie’s Dynamic Financial Analysis. When the results of the analysis came back, Gyswyt couldn’t ignore the positive financial impact and added employee choice Gravie would provide. Tiger Oak and its employees would save money and have access to a larger array of benefits that were as good, if not better, than what they had before with their group plan. A once reluctant Gyswyt was convinced that switching to Gravie was the right decision for Tiger Oak.

Tiger Oak’s implementation and onboarding with Gravie was a success. In addition to a Gravie-led kick-off meeting, Tiger Oak selected an employee champion that was responsible for promoting Gravie internally.

With Gravie, Tiger Oak employees had more plan choices than they had ever had before. Of the 40 employees that enrolled, 20 different plan designs from six different health insurance companies were selected. Rather than Tiger Oak choosing a couple plans for all of its employees, employees were able to pick their own plan that fit their unique needs. The company had a similar enrollment rate in Gravie as it did in its group plan.

But it wasn’t just choice that employees were happy with. They also saved money. David, an employee at Tiger Oak, was previously on Tiger Oak’s group plan with his two children. After Tiger Oak paid their portion of the group plan, David was still responsible for covering $1,400 out of pocket monthly. With Gravie, David was able to select a plan with “fairly equivalent coverage” for approximately $800 less a month. He said, “My pharmacy costs went up, but have been offset by the lower deductible. I am really happy with the move.” 

David used Gravie’s web-based shopping platform to choose a plan on his own, but when he got cold feet about whether or not he was making the right decision, he called the Gravie advisors to confirm his choice. The advisor asked a few additional questions, and then suggested a different plan that was very similar, but with a few modifications. The advisor helped David avoid buying more coverage than he needed.

Employees weren’t the only ones experiencing significant cost savings, Gravie saved Tiger Oak approximately $35,000 a year on health insurance costs, which is approximately 33% less than what they were spending on their group plan. Plus, Tiger Oak was able to outsource all of their benefits administrative work to Gravie; giving them a lot more time to focus on other priorities.

“Now Tiger Oak is able to provide a far greater selection of benefits at a lower cost than they were able to with its group plan. Employees are happy because they’re also saving money, they love the plan variety Gravie offers, and they feel supported with the Gravie advisors on their side, all year long” says Gyswyt.

With Gravie, employers are empowered to offer better benefits at a lower cost and with less administration on their part, and employees take ownership of their health insurance with a plan selected by them, and for them (with our help, of course).

Want to learn more about the positive impact Gravie is having on employers and employees? Check out more of our customer success stories in our Straight From the Horse’s Mouth series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3.

Interested in Gravie for you business, submit a contact form, request a Dynamic Financial Analysis or call us at 800.540.2920.

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