“EP217: A CFO’s Take on Health Insurance, With Steve Watson, CFO and Founder of Summit Path Group”
by Stacey Richter

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Steve Watson is CFO of a company with 500 employees and also a consultant to other CFOs through his work at Summit Path Group. Steve helps other CFOs buy employee benefits. And this is a noble thing to be doing these days when many CFOs are starting to wake up to the fact that their organizations are at the point where another “only 4% to 6% increase in health care costs this year” is the 4% to 6% that puts their organizations over the line where they have to take control of their health care spend.

You can learn more at summitpathgroup.com or on Twitter at @summitpathgroup, or find Steve on LinkedIn
at Steve Watson, CPA.


Steve Watson, CPA, SHRM-SCP
As a CFO/CHRO, Steve was frustrated each year with rising health care costs for his employer and employees. In 2012, he decided to make a change. First, he decided to fix the misaligned incentive that he had with his broker. Then he and his broker moved on to fixing the way his insurance was purchased from the insurance carriers. Now Steve is sharing this process with other employers through his consulting company Summit Path Group, whose mission is to lower employee benefit costs by sharing best practices from around the country with local employers and advisers.

01:57 The biggest ways that spiraling costs negatively affect companies.
02:49 How long does it take prices to double?
04:56 “On the ground level with mid-sized employers, we don’t know how to move the lever.”
05:50 Higher premiums = more commissions?
07:50 Steve’s advice for employers.
10:02 Why don’t employers dig into health care more?
11:28 “There are ways to set up a self-funded plan that have less risks than a fully insured plan.”
12:44 “[As] employers, we need to start [doing things] from our perspective, too.”
13:10 Steve’s advice to a CFO to demand claims.
15:31 When CFOs should begin their analysis of their insurance plans.
16:04 “I would … look at it as a 3- to 5-year plan and how [to] step along.”
20:04 The first question Steve asks CFOs.
24:37 Setting up a plan that’s best for the company.
27:20 Accessing unbiased information by being aware of misaligned incentives.
31:33 “At the heart of health care is the interaction between the patient and the doctor.”
33:23 For more information on direct primary care, listen to EP184 with Alex Lickerman, EP198 with Eric Parmenter, and EP215 with Caroline Znaniec.

You can learn more at summitpathgroup.com or on Twitter at @summitpathgroup, or find Steve on LinkedIn
at Steve Watson, CPA.


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