The Value of the Free Market to Self-funded Employers

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The free market movement in healthcare is vital to fixing the problems with our country’s current care delivery system.  The Free Market Medical Association was founded based on three pillars: Price, Value, and Equality. These pillars are essential to the long-term success of self-funded health plans.

Healthcare transparency provides you and your employees with the information and the incentive to choose health care providers based on value. Value is not just about price; but rather price and quality.

Your employees are inundated with media, advertising, and hype that incorrectly informs them that valuable healthcare has to be expensive; the highest quality will cost more. However, the quality of healthcare is not related to the price in the way consumers are taught to shop for other goods and services.

Better quality care is almost always a lower price.  High quality and low complication rates combined with efficiency enables these providers to charge far less than a low value choice.

Why is the Free Market important to you?

For a self-funded employer, being part of the free market movement is very important to the long term success of your Plan.

  • Competition in health care delivery is the key to sustaining affordable, quality benefits for your employees.
  • As a Plan Fiduciary under ERISA, it is important for you to be part of the free market movement.
    • Transparency in healthcare is crucial to fulfilling the fiduciary responsibility of being self-funded and using health plan dollars to only pay for reasonable costs.
    • Complying with the fiduciary responsibilities outlined in ERISA is becoming a hot topic for the DOL. Plan Administrators must pay special attention to how Plan assets are being spent.
  • The FMMA connects you with free market physicians and facilities who have embraced bundled, cash based pricing and understand that your Plan’s success is an essential part of keeping the local community strong.
  • The FMMA helps you find brokers/consultants and other vendor services who believe transparency is important to your Plan and understand that transparency is important in their business as well.
  • Finding the right facilitators or vendors can greatly impact your plan. The FMMA educates employers on how to find vendors that can have a good impact.
    • For example, what value do your current vendors provide? In what way, and how much, do they get paid? Have they embraced the free market and advise you to use plan assets in the most prudent way? Do they understand that network/PPO discounts have no real world value? These questions are important and circle back to being a responsible fiduciary of your Plan.

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