When Tampa’s Pratik Roychoudhury purchased Shield Watch IT Services and Citrus Computers in 2013, a 22 employee operation; only 4 in 10 company employees participated in the company sponsored health insurance plan. Understanding that healthy, well taken care of employees very likely equal happier employees, Roychoudhury and his leadership team dedicates themselves to increasing participation and to doing the unthinkable—shouldering the majority of employee health care costs, a bold move many business owners shy away from since the very controversial American Health Care Act’s (ACA) insurance mandate for small businesses kicked in in 2014.
An Associated Press-GfK poll released on March 28, 2014 showed that only 26% of Americans support the ACA, while a Wall Street Journal/NBC poll released on April 30, 2014, indicated that just 8% of respondents say that the Affordable Care Act “is working well the way it is.” Roychoudbury, a Wharton School of Business MBA, CEO of Shield Watch, and former President of Career Transitions, LLC, in South Bend, Indiana, knows business and cares about people. “I was certain such a low participation percentage could hurt our business in the long run, but not for the reasons many might think,” he states. “It was my goal to increase participation and take on the brunt of coverage costs. In doing so, my employees take fewer sick days, report being significantly satisfied with their health care coverage and feel as though our business truly looks out for them and their families. And above all, healthy employees take better care of our customers. Mission accomplished!”
The Outcome: Shield Watch spends less than what they would have because they involved their employees in the plan selection making process and because they thoroughly reviewed their options. Instead of a experiencing a 48 percent increase in premiums in 2013 (under their old plan), they are now shouldering less than a nine percent increase and getting better coverage overall. Better yet, the company now experiences an 87 percent participation rate in company sponsored healthcare insurance.
“More participation is simply better for business. Healthy employees will take better care of our customers,” said Roychoudhury.