Swiss Re’s Employer Stop Loss insurance coverage is providing benefits to the growing number of companies interested in self-funding their employee health plans in the United States. The coverage enables employers to cap their liability and benefit from self-funding their employee health plans.

The Employer Stop Loss offering is available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia through Westport Insurance Corp., the Swiss Re company that underwrites this product. Swiss Re is the first carrier to offer self-funding coverage to fully insured employer groups of 100 to 1,000 employees on a national basis.

A recent Kaiser/HRET Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, 1999-2008, indicates that 47% of workers in firms with 200 to 999 employees are in self-funded plans. Firms representing the remaining 53% of employees could potentially benefit from self-funding their employee health insurance. Employers that self-fund their group health care coverage gain increased control of the vendors and costs associated with their programs. Self-funded plans create employer cost savings by eliminating premium taxes and selected state-mandated benefits, as well as some insurance carrier margin. Firms also can improve their cash flows and free up capital for investment by maintaining reserves for claims in their own bank accounts during the year.

“Swiss Re's Employer Stop Loss offering addresses a need for groups with up to 1,000 covered lives who want to move from the fully insured environment,” says Jeff Argotsinger, SVP for the Employer Stop Loss business at Swiss Re.

Firms that choose to self-fund their health insurance also assume the risks associated with partial retention and management of their claims. The Employer Stop Loss offering from Swiss Re provides coverage for catastrophic claims that allows companies to enjoy the benefits of self funding while limiting their total claim exposure.

“The health care landscape is changing, and more employers are looking to limit their excess risk, either for specific catastrophic claims from individuals or by the aggregate claim amount,” says Matt Leming, VP and sales manager for Swiss Re's Employer Stop Loss business.

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