Money Magazine is hailing College of Business Executive Advisory Council member Richard Ollis as the “boss of the future.” Ollis is the President of Ollis & Company, a 30-person benefits and insurance company in Springfield. His innovative take on health insurance coverage for his employees earned him national recognition in the August Issue of Money Magazine. Other news outlets, including CNNMoney.com, subsequently picked up the article.
About nine years ago, Ollis realized he needed to enlist employees in the fight against higher healthcare costs. To gain employee buy-in, he decided to take a few risks. He replaced vending machines with fresh-food options, opened an on-site fitness facility, offered free medical check-ups on site and started a lecture series on healthy habits. Despite the good start, Ollis wasn’t getting the result he hoped for: healthier employees in an age with staggering health insurance costs.
The initially voluntary program attracted only 30 percent of his employees, most of whom already had healthy lifestyles. So Ollis developed an incentive to encourage wider participation. The carrot: a new program that rewarded qualifying employees with a $250 deductible and the full insurance premium paid by the company. To qualify, employees must have a health assessment and adopt a fitness routine, among other things. Workers who opt out face a $5,000 deductible and pay 25 percent of the premium. That did the trick.
“The initiative has changed employee health and our company. Virtually all of our staff is involved in some type of healthy activity … It is now an attraction and retention tool for our company. It has changed our culture,” Ollis states.
Ollis has been in the insurance industry since 1984, after active service in the U.S. Navy and graduating from MSU with a bachelor’s degree in Finance. Ollis has been recognized as Missouri’s Young Agent of the Year and Chairman of the Year and regularly writes for the Springfield Business Journal. He is past chairman of the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce and serves on the National Board of the Wellness Council of America, along with many other charitable and civic organizations.
To access the full Money Magazine article, visit CNNMoney. The College of Business is proud to have Ollis as a member of our Executive Advisory Council and applaud the impact he and his company are having on the changing landscape of health insurance.