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Smoked Brisket With a Side of Innovative Benefits — Featuring Josh Butler of Butler Benefits & Consulting

We welcome Josh Butler to Explanation of Benefits to chat about everything from entrepreneurship and the changing nature of employee benefits to Texas barbecue. Josh was recently recognized as the 2022 BenefitsPRO Broker of the Year, and he discusses that honor as well as some of the innovative strategies his firm delivers to clients.

Josh Butler Paytient podcast episode

When you’re from a long line of entrepreneurs, it’s not a surprise when you eventually go into business for yourself.

That was what ultimately spurred Josh and Allison Butler to open Butler Benefits & Consulting, a boutique healthcare benefits consulting and brokerage firm based in Amarillo, Texas. And a few friendly nudges from their family members didn’t hurt.

“I was at a family barbecue, and her father and my father were kind of needling me a little bit about when we were going to start a company,” Josh said. “I took it seriously. Later that night, when we went to bed, I told my wife, ‘I really think this is what I want to do.’ And a few months later, we launched Butler Benefits & Consulting.”

The firm has been helping employers of all sizes find innovative solutions to high healthcare costs since 2015. Josh was recently recognized as the 2022 BenefitsPRO Broker of the Year. The award is designed to spotlight benefits advisors who stand out from the crowd and are helping shape the future of the benefits space.

“It’s something I really didn’t expect, but it’s a great honor,” he said.

A Competitive Differentiator

Decades ago, employee benefits ranked low on a company’s profit and loss statement. Josh said that’s part of the reason they were known as “fringe benefits.”

“A lot of owners and presidents would kind of abdicate these responsibilities down to HR-level employees and say, ‘You know, we’re going to work with this broker because we play golf together,’” he said. “It wasn't really a huge cost-driver in any organization — no matter what industry they were in.”

But today, he notes that employee benefits have become a key differentiator for employers. Butler Benefits focuses on bringing down costs for employers and employees while also delivering high-quality healthcare. One of the ways they do this is by embracing cutting-edge approaches like community-owned health plans. These health plans are highly customized and based on relationships and direct contracts formed in a local community.

By working more directly with providers, Josh said companies can cut costs on procedures like knee surgeries by $50,000 a piece. Self-funded employers can then take those savings and afford to implement benefits like $0 deductibles — and save their employees thousands of dollars on important healthcare.

“We’re actually improving clinical outcomes if we get people to the top-notch physicians in a community, and it saves money,” he said. “We can do both simultaneously, but the employer needs a very customized plan built to administer all of these direct contracts and these relationships we’ve built.”

A Healthcare Revolution

Josh believes the U.S. is in the midst of a healthcare revolution. He said his firm is positioned “at the forefront of some of the more innovative changes that are being adopted out there in pockets all over the United States.”

“I’ve sold enough insurance in my career,” he said. “It doesn’t really excite me that much anymore. But being able to solve deeper problems for these organizations through healthcare and through employee benefits has really reinvigorated our firm and me personally.”

To learn more about Butler Benefits & Consulting, head to https://butler-benefits.com/.

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