MINNEAPOLIS — March 23, 2010 — Employers have a new option to control health care costs and offer attractive employee health care benefits — Bloom Health. Available July 2010, Bloom Health simplifies how employers and their employees select and pay for health insurance and other health services.
"Rising health care costs are top of mind for organizations of all sizes, especially as cost shifting, restricting access and other measures have been largely exhausted," said Abir Sen, chief executive officer (CEO) for Bloom Health. "Bloom Heath is the first viable option to come along and do something for companies fed up with double-digit premium increases, cumbersome open enrollment processes and one-size-fits-all health plans. We’ve taken something that historically has been a cause for headaches and turned it into something simple, engaging and valuable. We believe our solution addresses the pain felt by many employers and employees, especially as the industry undergoes fundamental changes."
Working with Employers to Define Costs
Bloom Health first works with employers to determine a reasonable and affordable amount to spend on employee health insurance. Employers then deposit pre-tax dollars on behalf of each employee into a Bloom Health account.
Helping Employees Find Tailored Insurance Plans and Health Programs
Employees start by participating in Bloom Health’s friendly health and financial assessment. Bloom Health’s proprietary recommendation engine then generates a list of available health insurance plans tailored to an employee’s specific needs. Through the company’s online marketplace, the Virtual ShelfTM, Bloom Health also recommends health and wellness services for consideration. Employees then choose a health plan and any related services based on desired cost, coverage and features, and pay for insurance and other programs directly from their Bloom Health accounts.
Early Employer Perspectives
"We are not experts in health insurance, nor do we want to be," said Adam Sellke, CEO of Echobit, LLC, a start-up software development company in Minneapolis, Minn. and Bloom Health beta participant. "Bloom Health takes all the work out of finding and administering health insurance, while allowing us to set and control our annual health care spend. It’s great to offer health insurance as a small company and provide access to health plans tailored to everyone’s unique needs."
"We are going to offer Bloom Health to our COBRA-eligible population starting July 1 to help them find more cost-effective and individualized health insurance options," said Robert Stevens, CEO of Ridgeview Medical Center, a Twin Cities health system based in Waconia, Minn. with more than 1,500 employees. "Individuals can still opt for COBRA if they want, but Bloom Health has the potential to save everyone time and money by providing suitable insurance alternatives available in the open market, all without the administrative overhead. Bloom Health is also something we are looking at closely for our active employee population. Bloom Health’s benefits of simplicity, cost control and employee choice are hard to ignore — regardless of organization size."