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Swiss Re's Employer Stop Loss Product Offers US Companies Cost Savings for Self-Funded Health Insurance Plans
Date:1/28/2009

OVERLAND PARK, Kan., Jan. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 - 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 healthcare 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 can also 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," said Jeff Argotsinger, Senior Vice President for the Employer Stop Loss business at Swiss Re.

Firms who 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 healthcare 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," said Matt Leming, Vice President and Sales Manager for Swiss Re's Employer Stop Loss business.

Combining actuarial expertise with its extensive claims database enables Swiss Re to provide quotes for Employer Stop Loss coverage without requiring historical health information from the employers' groups current insurance carrier.

"We just finished our first year on a self-funded health plan with Swiss Re providing our stop loss insurance. We saved more than USD 600,000 this year by self-funding, supported by Swiss Re's Stop Loss Coverage and with our third party administrator's help," adds Tad Roan, Chief Financial Officer, Crescent Directional Drilling. "We have especially enjoyed the flexibility and freedom the product has given us."

Companies considering self-funding may contact a Swiss Re appointed producer to review the Swiss Re self-funding financial tool to determine their potential cost savings. The tool was developed by Swiss Re actuaries and is available, along with other information on the Employer Stop Loss offering, at www.swissre.com/commercialinsurance.

Notes to editors

Swiss Reinsurance Company Ltd

Swiss Re is a leading and highly diversified global reinsurer. The company operates through offices in more than 25 countries. Founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1863, Swiss Re offers financial services products that enable risk-taking essential to enterprise and progress. The company's traditional reinsurance products and related services for property and casualty, as well as the life and health business are complemented by insurance-based corporate finance solutions and supplementary services for comprehensive risk management. Swiss Re is rated "AA-" by Standard & Poor's, "Aa2" by Moody's and "A+" by A.M. Best.


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