Meet a Health Plan Hero

Schaefer Autobody

Industry: Collision Repair
Number of Employees: 150
Headquarters: St. Louis, MO

Schaefer Autobody is a collision repair company operating in numerous locations in the St. Louis, MO metro area. With almost 250 employees, the company was paying an outrageous rate with Anthem BCBS of about $2M a year, including more than $13K per employee per year. Patients had to select between a dizzying 8 different plan offerings with significant cost-sharing in terms of deductibles and other out-of-pocket expenses.

Starting in March 2021, the company switched to an innovative benefit design that rewards patients who use a custom-built network of direct contracts with the local hospital systems. The plan uses independent, unconflicted, transparent and high-quality vendors for third-party administration, stoploss coverage, pharmaceutical benefit management, brand and specialty drug sourcing, surgery bundled contracts, and imaging procedures. Patients who access care, including more than 500 brand drugs, through these contracts pay zero in most cases. 

These vendors are managed by a transparent, unconflicted benefits advisory firm, who designed the plan around employer/employee goals and no other interests.

When it comes to patient cost-sharing for premiums and out-of-network benefits, the plan is a dramatic improvement over the company’s previous offerings from Anthem. Patients who seek care using the direct contracts have no cost-sharing, but even those who choose to go elsewhere have out-of-network cost-sharing that is lower than the best of the Anthem plans from the year prior. The concierge customer service approach is to personalize problem-solving so that the plan always does right by the patient. For example, a plan member needed a drug that was not on the plan’s formulary. The plan was able to override the formulary, get the member copay assistance and secure access for the member to the drug she needed to regulate her menstrual cycle.

In the first year of the plan, Schaefer Autobody has already saved almost one million dollars (50% less than under the old plan) that the company has reinvested into its workforce and core growth initiatives. At the same time, the plan has re-humanized health care, leapfrogging access barriers, and ensuring that patients with complex care and high-cost drugs have convenient solutions with no cost.