Milbank Mills: Case Study No. 1

by Howard Danzig

It’s a great time of year at ECCHIC, because we’re giving our small business clients refunds on their health plans. Yes, health plan refunds – up to $35,000.

What? You pay an insurance broker a set amount, and never get even an itemized list of your expenses, and you’ve never gotten a refund? Well you should consider talking to ECCHIC, a team of pro-active cost managers who successfully stabilized rising employee benefit costs.

Milbank Mills of Chillicothe, Mo.
Milbank Mills of Chillicothe, Mo.

“We have been able to keep our premium costs steady for five years, which is really remarkable,” says Ed Milbank of Milbank Mills in Chillicothe, Mo.

Ed is pretty remarkable. His company has been around for almost 150 years. It started out as a flour mill a century and a half ago, and as they wheat middling (the middle of three grades into which flour and meal are classified). “At one time it was dumped, but then it was found to be good livestock feed, and in a case of the tail wagging the dog, we started exclusively producing that. It was food not suitable for human consumption, but excellent for a wide variety of animals, especially when we add vitamins to it.”

His business model of hard work, good products, and good service is from another era as well: “We’re a smaller company, a bit of a dinosaur today as we are one of the very few independent feed companies still in existence,” he says. “All the others have been bought up by big companies.”

A few years ago, he took a moment and a chance to listen to what I had to say, about how his insurance premiums didn’t have to necessarily keep going up, making the case for a managed care plan. I showed him how our methods could allow Milbank Mills to insure for the unpredictable and unaffordable occurrences of healthcare problems at minimalized premium levels, while still accessing medical services and prescriptions at discounted price levels, which is what true insurance is really designed to do. Frankly, he “got it.” He is getting the same discounts those big feed companies get.

ECCHIC takes care of small businesses - including farmers.
ECCHIC takes care of small businesses – including farmers.

“I’ve been very pleased with all the plans and service,” he says. And this month, he got a refund. Ed is not alone – so many clients are happy (and often surprised!) at what we can do for them. We would be grateful for the opportunity of talking to you about your business’s health care needs. Give us a call today!

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