Employers’ Coalition on Health (ECOH) and The Destiny Health Plan™ create health care partnership in northern Illinois

Small businesses gain access to innovative plan, powerful network

Chicago-based Destiny Health and the Rockford-based Employers’ Coalition on Health (ECOH) recently announced a partnership that offers small businesses in northern Illinois a unique option in health care insurance.

The agreement blends the cost advantages and care quality of ECOH’s established network of health care providers with the innovative design of The Destiny Health Plan, which is underwritten by the Guardian Life Insurance Company of America.

This agreement makes it possible for small businesses to take advantage of a premier, consumer-driven health care model, with the same advantages and significant discounts as large corporations.

Founded by 10 Rockford-area employers in 1995, with the goal of controlling costs and ensuring high-quality care through direct contracts with providers, the non-profit ECOH has grown to link more than 120 self-insured employers in northern Illinois with a network of some 2,700 primary and specialty care providers and 40 hospitals. By partnering with Guardian’s Destiny Health Plan, the Coalition will be able to extend its advantages to smaller employers who are not in a position to self-insure. This new network option will be offered to some 3,000 existing Rockford-area members of Guardian’s Destiny Health Plan, bringing access to a broader scope of care and serving new employer customers at that same high level.

Sam Schmitz, executive director of ECOH, said, “The partnership between ECOH and Guardian’s Destiny Health Plan is a prime example of a win-win-win for local health care:

“Small businesses can now access the significant ECOH discounts that larger companies have been offered for years;

“Their employees can now access all three Rockford-area hospitals, and a host of additional healthcare providers, while being ensured a high level of care that is driven by quality initiatives, as well as regional and national data collection;

“And best of all, it’s local. Right here in northern Illinois. This partnership offers a broader network—and by far—the best this market has offered in a very long time.”

Scott Spiker, CEO of Destiny Health, agreed, adding: “ECOH has the best provider network in the market it serves, and I obviously believe we have the best health plan. Our organizations not only complement each other in what we can offer employers, we have a real alignment of vision and values. We are dedicated to providing value to members and employers through focuses on wellness, care quality, consumer choice, and member education.”

R. Casey Brauns, president of Rockford Consulting & Brokerage, works with very large as well as small companies and said: “This is great news for Rockford! The ECOH-Destiny Health Plan partnership brings to our small employers a much-needed combination of quality, pricing power and sophistication.”

Guardian’s Destiny Health Plan is the first and only insurance plan to have access to the ECOH network, making the plan a unique new option for employers in the area. Both organizations have a prior history of innovation. In developing relationships with its network of providers, ECOH has fostered collaborative initiatives to improve patient satisfaction, diabetes management, plan design, treatment best practices and on-site health and wellness education. Guardian, in alliance with Destiny Health, has helped drive the concept of consumer-directed health care in the U.S. marketplace, producing results in part through its incentive-based wellness program, Vitality.

About Guardian in alliance with Destiny Health

The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America and Destiny Health joined forces in 2003 to offer affordable, comprehensive consumer-directed health care coverage to employers fighting the battle against ever-increasing health care costs. As the nation’s fourth-largest mutual life insurer, Guardian is the employee benefits carrier of choice for more than 120,000 companies and 6 million individuals across the country. Destiny Health brings more than 10 years of international experience in the consumer-directed marketplace to the partnership. The Guardian and Destiny Health alliance creates a synergy that complements Destiny Health’s proven record of innovation with Guardian’s reputation and reach, resulting in the first significant, national consumer-directed health care option that offers cost control, high-quality care and real consumer choice. The Destiny Health Plan is underwritten and marketed by Guardian in Illinois, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Maryland and Texas. The Destiny Health Plan is also available in Wisconsin through affiliated insurance brokers.

For more information the alliance, visit www.glic-destiny.com.

About ECOH

Headquartered in Rockford, the Employers’ Coalition On Health (ECOH) is a non-profit coalition of local employers who collaborate with providers to progressively reform the health care delivery system in northern Illinois. ECOH analyzes local and regional data as a means for reducing member companies’ costs through the best discounts available in the marketplace, while simultaneously working with providers to maintain quality care. ECOH is 125 companies strong, with local people working together for quality health care. Learn more on the Web at www.ecoh.com.

From the June 28-July 4, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!