Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Employer Wellness Survey Deadline Extended!

The deadline to complete the 4th Annual Employer Wellness Survey has been extended to Friday, January 7th.

Click here to complete the survey. Please contact Alison Muth at 216.377.2595 or with questions.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. Acquires Herbruck Alder

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG), a publicly traded insurance brokerage and risk management services firm headquartered in Itasca, Ill., said it has bought employee benefits consultant Herbruck, Alder & Co. of Cleveland in a deal that will enable the local firm to grow its work force and services.

Mark Alder, president of Herbruck Alder, said his firm at present serves clients in Northeast Ohio but now “will be able to get after business outside” the region as part of a company with a market capitalization of more than $4 billion.

Click here to read the article on the Crain's Cleveland website.

Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 Employer Wellness Survey

Year after year, employers face increasing healthcare premiums. Employers are searching for effective strategies to help lower their costs. Through the implementation of wellness programs, we have seen that screenings and prevention can help lower the frequency of treatment and costs incurred.

Herbruck Alder is helping companies become aware of the importance of wellness through the 4th Annual Employer Wellness Survey. This survey asks questions related to the type of wellness programs organizations are using, along with different initiatives being conducted to encourage healthier living to their employees. The survey results will provide employers with information to promote wellness to their employees as well as display cost benefits tied with healthy living.

Click here to complete the survey. By participating, you will receive a published report containing the information gathered from the survey. The survey will remain open until December 29, 2010. The survey will take about 10 minutes to complete and must be completed at one time. For more information, please contact Alison Muth at 216.377.2595 or

Thursday, November 4, 2010

CBC Magazine - In Touch With

Mark Alder was recently interviewed and featured in CBC Magazine. He discussed health & wellness, healthcare reform and more.

Below is part of the article -

Herbruck Alder, a Cleveland-based employee benefits firm, holds health and wellness in high regard. In fact, its president, Mark Alder, earlier this year earned a health and wellness "champion's award" from the Cleveland Museum of Natural History.

Q: While specializing in employee benefits, what does Herbruck Alder feel is its mission in the arena of health and wellness?

A: A part of Herbruck Alder's overall mission is to add value for the business owner and human resources professional while enhancing the work experience for employees...

Click here to read more.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Coming Together to Understand Health Care Reform

Coming Together to Understand Health Care Reform and How it Affects Employers

Join Herbruck Alder, local health insurance companies and a panel of experts representing employee benefits, law, finance, and human resources to learn about the recent health care reform and how it will affect your company.

Thursday, August 12, 2010
8:00 am: Registration
8:30 - 9:00 am: Welcome & Continental Breakfast
9:00 am – Noon: Breakout Sessions presented by the health insurance companies
Noon – 1:30 pm: Healthy Lunch & Panel Discussion

Mark Alder, Herbruck Alder
Debbie Connelly, Hyland Software
Pete DeMarco, Meaden & Moore
James M. Drozdowski, Hahn Loeser & Parks, LLP

LaCentre Conference and Banquet Facility
25777 Detroit Road
Westlake, OH 44145

RSVP by August 6, 2010 to Alison Muth at 216-377-2595 or or Click Here.

Presented by Herbruck Alder in partnership with Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Kaiser Permanente, Medical Mutual of Ohio and UnitedHealthcare.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Wellness@Work Symposium

Herbruck Alder recently sponsored the Wellness@Work Symposium with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. The event began with a keynote address by Scott McFarland, president of Wellness at the Cleveland Clinic. He discussed what the Cleveland Clinic is doing to help make employees healthier. Then, several wellness experts provided breakout sessions regarding various aspects of wellness programs, including: ROI, wellness program incentives and economic wellness program ideas. Finally, the Wellness@Work Award winners presented sessions on what they do in their wellness programs.

One of the wellness experts that presented was Ginny Hridel of COSE. Click here to read her recent blog about the Symposium.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Wellness@Work Symposium

Wellness@Work Symposium
Thursday, June 10, 2010
8 am - 1 pm
The Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Herbruck Alder is partnering with the Cleveland Museum of Natural History on the Wellness@Work Symposium. The event will feature a keynote address by Scott McFarland, President, Wellness Enterprise, Cleveland Clinic. Seven breakout sessions will be presented by the 2010 Wellness@Work Award recipients and employer wellness program experts. The event will conclude with a healthy lunch.

For a detailed symposium agenda, speakers and topics, please refer to

$20 per person; includes breakfast, networking lunch, and all speakers. $5 parking available at the Cleveland Museum of Art.

Register by Friday, June 4. Call 216.231.1177 or
click here. The first 100 people to register will receive a free gift bag!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Herbruck Alder receives Health Care Heroes Award

On May 6, 2010, Herbruck Alder was named winner of the Employer Achievement in Wellness Award through the Crain's Health Care Heroes Program.

In the May 3-9, 2010 issue of Crain's Cleveland Business, the following was written about Herbruck Alder.
"Cleveland benefits brokerage and consulting firm Herbruck Alder has stressed to its 700 clients and their 40,000-plus employees that its wellness program, Herbruck Alder Health Advocates, helps lower health care costs and allows for healthier lifestyles.

For proof, it points to its own employees, who have hit the ground running with various elements of the 2-year-old program. Eighty-seven percent of Herbruck Alder employees participated in the company's initial health screenings, while 76% took part last year in the Shape up the Nation, a social networking initiative aimed at uniting people seeking healthier lifestyles. Through that program, the employees lost a combined 137 pounds, exercised for 1,410 hours and walked 18.9 million steps."

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Mark Alder Receives Champion Award for Wellness@Work Program

On March 10, 2010, Herbruck Alder's president Mark Alder was awarded the Champion Award through the Cleveland Museum of Natural History's second annual Wellness@Work Program. He was recognized during an event at the Intercontinental Hotel for his dedication and exemplary service toward the wellbeing and health of the employees of Herbruck Alder, our clients, the Greater Cleveland Community, and the world.

Click here to read the Wellness@Work press release.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Congress Passes Landmark Health Care Reform

On March 21, 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed major health care reform legislation, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The legislation was previously passed by the U.S. Senate in December 2009 and was signed by President Obama on March 23, 2010.

Click here for additional information.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cleveland Clinic chief on the business of health

A client of mine was kind enough to forward this article/interview with the CEO of the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Delos “Toby” Cosgrove. I am very glad that I read this piece as it hit home with many of the points we try to convey to our clients, prospective clients and anyone else that asks our opinion of Healthcare Reform. I don’t think anyone questions whether we need it -- the question is how to accomplish the goal. I often wonder whether the real issues are being addressed; and so it was refreshing to see that this interview touches on many of the topics on which we need to focus – including healthier lifestyles and greater efficiency among providers -- to help slow increasing healthcare costs. It is also very realistic in that Dr. Cosgrove reminds us that costs are always going to go up, and we can only hope to curtail them. I hope you find the article as informative as I did.

Click here to read the article.

Alex Herbruck, Herbruck Alder,

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Employer Wellness Survey Results Available

Results from Herbruck Alder's Employer Wellness Survey of Northern Ohio companies are now available.

Survey highlights:
  • Twenty three percent of Northern Ohio employers responding to the survey have comprehensive wellness programs. This is 39 percent more than the results of the previous annual survey reported.
  • 17 percent of respondents are in the process of developing a wellness program.
  • 51 percent offer smoking cessation programs through health plans.
  • 45 percent offer weight control and/or weight loss services.
  • 80 percent offer onsite food services, from full-service cafeterias to vending machines. Of those, 34 percent publish nutritional content to help employees make healthy food choices.
  • 39 percent can identify successes within their wellness programs, such as employees quitting smoking, sharing healthy recipes, starting exercise programs, and participating in weight-loss competitions.

Click here to read recent press release.

Please contact Alison Muth at 216.377.2595 or to receive a copy of the results report.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Is the problem the cost of the insurance or the cost of the collision centers?

I want to go on record that I am in favor of some health reforms. I am also a news junky. I read many articles each day from Google News, which comes from all sorts of reporting and opinion sources covering all sides of the health reform debate.

Let me begin by stating the obvious - health insurance is expensive. Whether it is Medicare, Medicaid, group or individual, insurance products are expensive. This is because of the unlimited nature of the coverage. The proposed removal of any connection between our personal usage of the service and the cost of the coverage will only make matters worse.

All of the above insurance policies (yes, Medicare is like an insurance policy) are expensive because we (the insured) are priceless, and we routinely use services ranging from preventive to critical care. Providers of care are analogous to car repair shops that change oil, sell new tires, perform major and minor collision work to repair fender benders, or declare a car “totaled” if it’s involved in a head-on or t-bone crash.

However, the business of fixing humans is different from the business of fixing cars. There are many times we don’t fix the paint chips, small dings or even windshield cracks because the damage is minimal and we would have to pay for it out of our own pockets. Car insurance simply does not cover all damages, and it certainly does not cover oil changes and new tires (preventive exams and hip replacements – get the connection?). Sometimes we choose to pay out-of-pocket because we don’t want our rates to go up. When does this happen with health insurance?

We have come to expect health insurance to cover everything – from soup to nuts – from knees to sneezes and wheezes. What’s more, the repair and collision centers – hospitals and doctors’ offices – are incredibly expensive and their prices have a broad band width. We have little control over the cost of repair. Further, we generally cannot get an estimate in advance of the cost of the service, and pricing is inconsistent based upon the type of “payer” that pays the bill. I do not get the same discount that Anthem BCBS would get and Anthem does not get the same discount that Medicare (the U.S. Government) gets. Thus, we all lean on some form of “health insurance” to finance our way forward.

So, everyone already has access to health care. The problem is that health care is expensive and not everyone can self pay for all of the health care they need. Further, our present system says that if you do not have any money, just go to the emergency room and you can get treated without any cost to the patient. Try that at a collision center or car dealer.

We can’t do that at a Doctor’s office either. So why doesn’t someone just make a Doctor’s appointment, see the Doctor in his or her office, and pay the $80 when they are sick? Isn’t that access to health care? Is it because people don’t think they have to pay for the service? Is it because they can’t afford the service? Should this be covered by insurance?

Health insurance really is needed for most of us (except for guys like Gates and LeBron) as a way of financing something that is very expensive: Repairing our worn knees, hips, hearts, lungs, bellies, bowels and brains. What is weird though is that our government wants insurance to pay even when we have not been overly responsible. When you drink and drive and crash, people can die, go to jail, lose driving privileges and lose automobile insurance.

When we eat too much, drink too much, exercise too little and live unsafe and unhealthy lives, we don’t lose our right to eat and drink. Government reform says insurance must cover the collisions that come from our poor lifestyle choices and wrecked bodies and lives. By the way, insurance companies won’t be able to charge different prices to different people either. Bad drivers get good driver rates. How does that work? I guess good drivers will pay more and bad drivers will pay less.

Despite the frequently negative perception of insurance companies, they are still not the core of the problem. The problem is twofold:

1. Covering chronically reckless lifestyles without personal consequence; and
2. The cost of all underlying services.

You see, if insurance must cover the cost of prevention and repairs – for the sick as well as the healthy (both the good and bad drivers) -- we need to bring down the cost of hospitals and other care providers so that the insurance can also come down.

One final thought and I think we can agree on this notion – when we get our cars fixed after they are in a wreck most of the cost is wrapped up in the actual repair work to our cars. It is not in the adjuster, the administrative costs that the insurance company has to administer the claim, or even sending us the bill for the auto policy. The expense is mostly in the cost of the collision center - to the ones repairing the cars. The same is true with health insurance.

Mark Alder, President of Herbruck Alder - -