As a national communications company began to experience rapid growth and multi-state acquisitions, it needed to streamline its benefit process among all locations and ensure a seamless transition for new employees joining the plan. The solution? Make the switch to a self-funded strategy. Third party administrator (TPA) IAA shares a case study that shows how this move allowed the company to adapt its plan to a growing employee base, receive tax benefits and realize discounts of up to 55% by eliminating the insurance carrier as the middleman. See how self-funding has helped save the company 22% on overall benefit costs and dramatically improve the HR department’s day-to-day efficiency in the case study below.

For more information or to contact IAA, visit or call (856) 470-1200.


Streamlined Operations Make Acquisitions Easier & Reduce Benefit Costs by 22%

An aggressive growth strategy can put intense pressure on a company’s benefit infrastructure.
In the case of National Broadband Services*, the organization more than doubled in size when it went from about 200 employees to 500+ in just three years. As the company added locations – sometimes in rural communities – underwriting parameters continued to shift. New states meant new regulations, untested provider networks and increased paperwork. The HR department and the insurance carriers it contracted with were having a very hard time keeping up.

Along with these organizational issues, National Broadband Services was also dealing with matters related to employee relations. Employees from acquired companies were nervous about the future of their jobs and looking to their employer for clues. Having to endure delayed benefit ID cards or change a primary care doctor had the potential to cause frayed nerves and decrease productivity.

Acquisitions were becoming “business as usual” for National Broadband Services and HR wanted to be able to handle them as such. The staff imagined a more cost-effective approach that could be executed seamlessly to use the benefit budget more wisely and accommodate new locations more easily. When it became clear that their carriers didn’t share the same vision or have an appropriate solution to meet it, the company turned to the self-funding model with the help of a third party administrator (TPA).

Partnering with a TPA allowed National Broadband Services to pursue a strategy that would equip the HR team with the tools needed to build strong relationships with employees. It gave them the ability to act fast, no matter where a new facility was located.

The self-funded strategy also addressed the need for health benefits to be flexible and cost-effective. With acquisitions as a primary focus, the cost of operations had to remain as skinny as possible to ensure maximum available capital. Being tied down to a plan design or insurance carrier had been limiting the company’s ability to respond to cost increases.

A self-funded plan turned out to be the best move for National Broadband Services as it gave the company the means to:

  • Design its own benefits and adapt them however necessary according to growth
  • Eliminate the carrier profit margin
  • Realize tax advantages
  • Avoid unpleasant financial surprises by using stop loss insurance
  • Enjoy improved network access with the partner TPA’s expanded regional and national networks
  • Save up to 55% by eliminating the carrier as the middleman

On top of all that, the HR staff was able to free up time to do their most important work by turning over the administration of turnkey benefit activities like COBRA, HIPAA and FSAs to the TPA. Benefit enrollment went online, which allowed HR to centralize its data and give employees all over the country easy access to a user-friendly system.

With the move from a traditional plan to one that is self-funded, National Broadband Services’ benefit costs have dropped 22% while efficiency has improved substantially.

Together, the HR team and TPA are able to respond quickly and effectively when an acquisition is executed. Employees are also benefiting greatly from the switch as they receive exceptional service, fast claim payments and dependable FSA reimbursements.

With this strong foundation, National Broadband Services can scale up at any pace it chooses.


*Actual case detailed, but company name has been changed for confidentiality.

Case study supplied by IAA. For more information or to contact IAA, call Paul Kelly at (856) 470-1200.
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