Fort Lupton Human Resources Director Laura Howe didn’t mince too many words when she talked about the city’s present insurance carrier.
“We’re in a challenging position of having to provide health care by buying a really crappy product,” she told Fort Lupton City Council June 28 during a town hall meeting. “We’re trying to make what we have work. But the carrier is not offering incentives to make things easier. I don’t think we’re getting anywhere with Humana.”
Howe thinks she’s found an answer in Amaze Health, a three-year-old firm that provides telemedicine, concierge services and a digital health gateway, according to its website. Howe said employees at Amaze Health are not tied to particular doctors, pharmacies or hospitals.
“The difference with Amaze is we want to be a trusted resource for people who have questions they want answered,” said account manager Elizabeth Fineberg. “They understand how to use the plan and to not send people to a doctor if they don’t have to.”
Howe asked the council to approve a five-month trial plan that would cost a bit more than $5,000 for the 92 employees who are on the city’s present insurance plan. The council couldn’t act because of the meeting’s format.
“They (Amaze) are good at navigating a broken system,” Howe told the council. “I don’t think Kaiser would be good because they don’t have enough locations in Weld County.”
“Can they help explain the benefits?” asked Mayor Zo Stieber-Hubbard.
“The employees are career agnostics,” Fineberg said. “They make sure the employees understand who the providers are so the employees stay in-network. We try to build relationships with people. We want people to maintain and keep their primary care physicians.”
“Do they communicate with the primary care?” asked Councilwoman Valerie Blackston.
“So it doesn’t look like you’ve ghosted them?” added Councilman David Crespin.
“If the situation is necessary, we can bring the phone to the (primary) doctor,” Fineberg said. “They can be as involved as they want them to be. They are not replacing specialists.”
The cost is $15 per employee per month. Ninety-two employees are on the city’s present insurance plan.
“It’s an awesome benefit,” Blackston said. “Personally, I don’t think Humana is any good. But there are no providers near Fort Lupton. This is going to help employees, but it’s not going to bring them closer to providers.”
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