Greg Hatcher on Health Care Trends in 2015

Greg Hatcher on Health Care Trends in 2015
Greg Hatcher

Greg Hatcher founded The Hatcher Agency in 1990 at the age of 28. Since its founding, the agency has been recognized as Arkansas Business of the Year and Most Philanthropic Company. 

He graduated in 1983 with a degree in public relations from Alma College, a private liberal arts college in Alma, Michigan.

Hatcher is the founder of the Mighty Bluebirds Sports Organization and was instrumental in introducing competitive wrestling into Arkansas high schools.

He is the author of three books, including “55 Steps to Outrageous Service.”

What feedback are you getting from companies nearly a year into health care reform? Are you seeing any trends for 2015 as you are looking at renewals?

Most of our groups are concerned about staying in compliance with the Affordable Care Act, which we take care of for them. Once this is done, they are worried about big rate increases. The reality is we have been able to avoid big increases for now. If nobody had told us there were health care reform increases, I’m not sure anyone would have noticed. We have been able to keep our renewal increases down. The future, after the market matures with everyone covered with no pre-existing conditions and coverage being paid for with taxes and subsidies, is the real concern. Only time will tell. If rates get too high, then deductibles and co-pays will go up to make consumers have more skin in the game and slow down medical inflation. 

What is the most common mistake you see businesses make when it comes to employee benefits?

They forget to cover their employees and themselves for disability. Your greatest financial misfortune comes not from health claims but from a disability claim. 

What is the smartest business decision you ever made, and what was the worst?

The best business decision I made was to take the risk to start my own agency. The worst business decision was to invest in company cars. It’s better to have employees own and care for their own cars. 

You wrote a book called “55 Steps to Outrageous Service.” Since we don’t have room here for all 55, which of the 55 steps do you consider most important and why?

Chapter 24, Goodwill Calls: If you check in with your customers every month without trying to sell them something, you will have happy customers and a lot of referrals. Chapter 55, Swing for the Fences: You miss all the shots in life you never take because you were too afraid of failure. Only count your victories, not your losses. 

You helped get wrestling started in Arkansas high schools. Why are you so passionate about that?

It develops character and confidence like no other sport because you are out on the mat by yourself in a physical one-on-one battle with nobody out there to bail you out. You have to “wrestle through it” and figure it out. The discipline to maintain weight, stay in a battle you often can’t win and to win and lose with honor in a wrestling singlet in front of all your peers makes you a better person. Dan Gable, the legendary Olympic wrestler and coach, said, “Once you’ve wrestled, everything else in life is easy.”