Ultralink Announces Sixth Consecutive Year In Negotiating Client Healthcare Premium Increases Well Below Industry Averages

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UltraLink, a leading HR and benefits management services company, today announced its sixth consecutive year of negotiating above industry average cost savings for their healthcare procurement clients. UltraLink helped their clients control healthcare costs by reducing the carrier proposed increases by one-third. Through its unique rate negotiation process and industry-leading expertise, UltraLink was once again able to save its clients millions of dollars in premiums for 2006.

Company’s Procurement Services Save Clients Millions of Dollars, Reducing Increases by One-Third

Costa Mesa, CA UltraLink, a leading HR and benefits management services company, today announced its sixth consecutive year of negotiating above industry average cost savings for their healthcare procurement clients. UltraLink helped their clients control healthcare costs by reducing the carrier proposed increases by one-third. Through its unique rate negotiation process and industry-leading expertise, UltraLink was once again able to save its clients millions of dollars in premiums for 2006.

J. Stephen Ashley, Senior Vice President of Client Consulting Services for UltraLink stated, “Our rate negotiation services are designed differently than those provided by most of the other national benefit consultants. Many of the larger firms often accept original proposals from the health plans because they fall within the industry averages. We never settle for what the plans initially propose. We negotiate using our tools, services and experience to dive deep into the underwriting assumptions. We challenge the health plans to prove to us that the increases they have proposed are reasonable. We are always looking at our clients’ long-term health care strategy goals, therefore our focus is not always to find the cheapest rate, but to find the right rate and the right health plan mix. Finding quality health plans ultimately saves our clients money over time by eliminating the need to change health plans

every year.”

American Airlines, a full-service UltraLink client since 1996, has benefited greatly from UltraLink’s procurement services with total cost savings in the millions year after year.

“UltraLink’s negotiation team has continued to expertly negotiate on our behalf the best results possible,” said Sharon Horton, Manager, Plan Management of American Airlines. “We’ve been very satisfied with their services, they’ve not only saved the company a substantial amount of money over the years but we’ve been able to pass that savings onto our employees as well.”

Dow Chemical, an UltraLink client since 1996, is one of many multi-billion dollar companies that are currently utilizing UltraLink’s procurement expertise to help them contain their rising healthcare expense.

“UltraLink is a strong procurement and administrative partner – their preparation, analysis and effective rate negotiations have saved us significant dollars,” said Steven R. Morgenstern, Health Plan Manager for Dow Chemical. “Beyond renewal season, UltraLink manages the plans throughout the year to ensure accurate eligibility and premium calculations and reduce issues for our employees. We offload these complex, labor-intensive functions so we can focus on more strategic initiatives. We are very satisfied with UltraLink’s services, our company saves time and money while our employees experience additional value in our benefit offerings.”

UltraLink’s Renewal Process

UltraLink’s Benefit Plan Management services, which address all aspects of the benefit renewal process and allow clients to have UltraLink manage the entire process or outsource only one function, includes:

  •     Benefit Plan Design – Following a program audit, UltraLink analyzes all the components of a client’s benefit plan to help them make strategic decisions and specific improvements.
  •     Benefit Contract Management – This service ensures that health plans and vendor's services meet the requirements that were stated in client contracts. UltraLink serves as an objective judge of service performance, identifies any service not up to par and enforces performance guarantees.
  •     RFP Generation and Analysis – A client’s success at the negotiating table may very well be determined by detailed preparation, thorough analysis and the insight of an experienced staff. UltraLink works with clients to customize an RFP based on a company's particular needs and benefit strategy, the net result of these deliverables strengthen negotiating power.
  •     Benefit Selection and Renewal – UltraLink conducts an analysis of a client’s current plan that will be the basis for the renewal strategy — a strategy that helps select exactly the right plans and the appropriate vendors for renewal.
  •     Rate Negotiation and Contracting – This service includes one-on-one negotiations in person or by phone, rate and service confirmation, and contract and conversion management allowing UltraLink to secure the best rates and services, aligned with a client’s corporate goals.

UltraLink offers guidance for effective management of the rate negotiation process in a white paper entitled “Utilizing the Procurement Process to Deliver Bottom Line Results.” This paper and other helpful materials can be downloaded from UltraLink’s website at http://www.ultralink.com/company/news/kcenter.asp.

About UltraLink

UltraLink is an HR and Benefits Management Services Company focused on helping clients control and drive down the costs of their health and welfare benefits offerings. UltraLink audits, implements and manages a company's entire benefits offering, minimizing benefits cost while maximizing their value. Founded in 1989, UltraLink has maintained long-term relationships with many well-known, established corporations. For more information about UltraLink, please call 1.866.845.0403 or visit the company’s website at http://www.UltraLink.com.

This press release was distributed through eMediawire by Human Resources Marketer (HR Marketer: http://www.HRmarketer.com) on behalf of the company listed above.

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Michelle Bell
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