Mindshare Group Offers Various Strategies to Deal with Rising Benefits Costs

Expert Consultants to Small Businesses Provide Strategies, Negotiate with Carriers

Businesses that market products or services in high demand and short supply seem to be in an enviable position. They have a ready-made customer base and their offerings can command premium prices. Such is the world of group health insurance in today's economy. "Every business we run into is challenged with the rising costs of medical care and health insurance for its employees," remarks Dan Copenhagen, President of Mindshare Group, a small employee benefits consulting and insurance services firm that recently moved into 5980 Stoneridge Drive from elsewhere in Pleasanton. As Copenhagen views the situation, "it's pure economics of supply and demand. Fewer physicians and providers available to serve an ever-growing and aging population, combined with new technology, treatments, and drugs to combat illness, continue to drive prices higher, to the tune of 10 to 12 percent annually over the past five years."

Mindshare Group is very familiar with the challenges small business face in addressing these cost increases. "Everyone is looking for better ways to manage employee benefit programs to contain costs and maximize their return," Copenhagen points out. "Our job is to provide expert consulting to these companies, negotiate with carriers on their behalf, and bring to light creative options that can accomplish these objectives, saving both money and time."

Health insurance is considered the number one benefit these days, but Copenhagen notes that it is only one part of the overall benefits picture. Mindshare offers the full gamut of health-related benefits, from group and individual programs to dental and vision plans, health savings accounts, 401k plans, group life and disability insurance, flexible spending accounts, employee assistance programs, and voluntary supplemental benefit plans. "We wrap a collection of communication and support services with our consulting to provide an effective solution for management, HR, and employees," he adds.

Another new strategy is for companies to adopt self-funded programs, actually paying employee claims themselves. If overall claims are running positive, the business will ultimately spend less on health or dental insurance.

Recognizing that the financial knowledge to understand the "nuances of health insurance" had become extraordinarily complex, and that small and mid-sized companies were under served in addressing their benefits costs and services, Copenhagen started Mindshare in 2001. He previously ran a financial services business unit at Hewlett-Packard, so he was familiar with a lot of the intense analysis required. Targeting employers with a workforce of from 30 to 300, he determined to make sure the money companies spend on benefits generates the greatest return on investment for them and their employees.

Mindshare's success prompted the move into new quarters in Hacienda. For the future, Copenhagen envisions a path of steady managed growth. "Our goal is to remain a boutique firm focused on serving our clients in a unique, highly customized fashion. Benefits are costly and complex, so the conversations we have with employers are important. We can offer substantial value to employers and their employees."

For more information, call (925) 227-9900 or visit www.mindsharegroup.com .

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