A Healthcare Solution for the ECE Industry

Leah Williams Healthcare, Uncategorized

Imagine you’re playing a game of Jenga. But this is not any ordinary game, this is the best game of Jenga you’ve ever played!

The blocks are stacked nearly double their original height. You’re crushing it! After carefully strategizing which block to pull, you find the best one. With careful maneuvering, you slowly and gently wiggle the block out. Before you can place it on the top and look smugly at your opponents, the tower starts to waver, then wobble, then…JENGA!

In this game, the collapse of the blocks is inevitable. The point of the game is to see how high you can build something. Yet what you are gaining in height, you are losing instability. You can do pretty well, but you’ll never actually “beat” the game.

When I founded Inspire Care 360, my vision was to bring solutions to owners of Early Childcare and Education (ECE) to help them engage their staff, grow enrollments, and optimize their school operations for sustainable profitability. However, to achieve any of these goals, we must slow down the revolving door of staff. Our schools, without a stabilized workforce of teachers, create a house of cards effect or as discussed above, Jenga. You may be able to do pretty well for a while, but eventually, you’ll fall.

Continuing with the topic from my last blog post, a core solution to stabilizing your staff is benefits. The most desired one being, affordable healthcare.

When companies first started offering employer-paid group health benefits back in the 1940s, the government did not have a say in it.  It was a way to earn top talent in the market by offering an additional incentive to wages of investing in their well-being.

Knowing one of our greatest challenges is teacher stability, we set out on the journey to solve that for the ECE industry. Providing our staff with an affordable healthcare plan is a smart business investment. It can help reduce turnover, increase recruiting, meet government requirements, and create a sustainable building block for your culture. In addition to all of those benefits and above all else, providing your staff with an affordable plan and investing in their well-being is the right thing to do

I spoke with many owners and operators throughout the nation about my search for an affordable healthcare plan. I found, not to my surprise, this was a top pursuit for them as well.  I met with our steering committee, a group of current members with years of experience in ECE. Before I even mentioned my search for a new healthcare initiative, they voiced their need for affordable healthcare which further validated our motivation. Our IC360 membership motto is that we are an extension of our team, having our members telling us affordable healthcare was a top need was my final motivation to get this across the finish line.

Easier said than done. It wasn’t quite as simple as calling an insurance company and saying “Hey, we have a group of owners who all want healthcare can you help us with something affordable and flexible?”  You could almost hear them laughing over the phone.  The insurance industry as most of us know is strict, regulated, and typically a legalized oligopoly. The only options for discounts or price breaks were for large companies with thousands of employees who were paying for major medical. Thus, the search continued.

After two years of meetings, researching, and working with professionals in the healthcare and insurance industry, we successfully built a pilot for a healthcare solution in the summer of 2020 which quickly evolved into IC360 Healthy Advantage.

Healthy Advantage is a qualified program that meets the Affordable Care Act and provides affordability and flexibility to our staff. This program has universally accessible benefits from dollar one and provides a significant, well-thought-out alternative to major medical.

Healthy Advantage is a major building block in the stabilization of our industry’s staff. To our knowledge, there is no other plan like it in the ECE or small business industry.  

Unlike Jenga, an affordable healthcare initiative is solid, supportive, and gives you a firm foundation to build upon.

For more on how Healthy Advantage works to solve the problems in the ECE industry and the direct results of this solution check out my blog post tomorrow!

-Tony Dagostino