Citadel Architectural Products

Abandoning health benefits, not employees

Challenge

Like every employer, over the years Citadel had been buffeted by rising health care costs; because it has always operated a self-funded plan, the firm also faced constant cost unpredictability. To address these issues, the firm sought a new option. Since Citadel would not be subject to the employer mandate penalties, FirstPerson suggested they consider no longer sponsoring an employee plan, but a number of challenges made this a complex consideration.

Solution

As a firm with fewer than 50 employees, Citadel would remain free from tax penalties under the Affordable Care Act to drop its coverage for employees; however, the firm did not feel good about simply telling employees, “You’re on your own.” Through its MyChoice plan, FirstPerson helped Citadel develop a plan that not only provided financial support for employees entering the insurance marketplace, but also helped individual employees navigate the marketplace and manage the coverage he or she chose.

Disbanding our health plan was a big decision. We didn’t want to lose employees over health care, so we knew we needed to do it right. FirstPerson walked us through the whole process.

—Scott Swisher, Citadel Architectural Products

Results

While Citadel certainly has many ways to measure the success of its move, for CEO Scott Swisher, the metric that matters is this: The firm did not lose a single employee over the health coverage change. Certainly, it was not an easy shift, and some employees fared better than others, but FirstPerson helped Citadel achieve the desired sense of doing what’s best for the company and its people.