Knapheide will open clinic just for employees

Knapheide will soon open a clinic just for its employees and their dependents.

One of the Tri-States' largest employers will open its own medical clinic for employees and employees' dependents.

The Knapheide Family Wellness Center will have a physician, nurse and other medical support professionals. It will be managed by the Florida-based WeCare TLC, a company that specializes in managing clinics for employers who decide to offer health care.

Knapheide will incur all the costs in starting the clinic and will pay all costs associated with it including the medical staff, the lease, utilities and medical supplies.

Employees won't have to pay out-of-pocket for the services offered.

"In today's world just with the health care regulations and everything going on we felt like it was important to look at other ways of providing healthcare for employees," Knapheide Vice President of Human Resources Jim Rubottom said.

Anyone on Knapheide's insurance will be allowed to use the clinic. It will be completely up to the employee if they want to use the services or not.

The clinic will be off-site and will provide a wide range of services. Services include primary care, laboratory, pharmacy, health risk assessment, disease management and total lifestyle counseling. Other services will be offered including physical, blood tests and disease management.

Rubottom estimates in 2013 the company spent $10 million on health care. He says having their own clinic will save them money.

â??I've always used this example. I went to my physician, had a procedure done in the office had a physical while I was there, when I walked out it cost $500. At our clinic that cost will probably be $50 less,â?? Rubottom said.

Knapheide will model the clinic after existing ones associated with other companies.

They believe it will benefit everyone in the long run.

The clinic will be open in spring 2014. It is expected to serve more than than 3,000 people.

Self-insuring employees through what are known as medical captives was once the province of larger corporations. One of WeCare TLC's largest clients is Kia Motors.

The use of captives began to grow as companies faced increased insurance requirements through the Affordable Care Act.

In an Aug. 23, 2013 article published in the Orlando Business Journal, author Abraham Abraya said that by self-funding health insurance through these programs, companies could avoid some of the â??more costly requirements from health reform, such as mental health coverage or requirements to offer preventative services with no co-payments.â??