Healthcare’s Role in Building a Stronger Cleantech Sector

Recent headlines emphasize the important role healthcare and wellness benefits play in attracting and retaining top talent. Association health plans like the CleanTech Alliance Health Trust have long helped emerging cleantech companies compete.

Keith VanderZanden helps us outline the role competitive healthcare plays in building a stronger cleantech industry sector in Washington State. VanderZanden serves as Senior Vice President of Wells Fargo’s National Wholesale Benefit Practice. He is also a CleanTech Alliance Board Member and oversees the CleanTech Alliance Health Trust.

Why is competitive healthcare so important for building a strong cleantech industry sector in Washington State?


Offering competitive and comprehensive benefits is key to attracting the best and brightness talent from across the nation. In emerging industries, there is often a shortage of talent that creates fierce competition. Providing employees piece of mind through a robust benefit program goes a long way to assuring employees that they are making the right transition for themselves and their family.


Talent recruitment and retention is an obvious benefit. How is the larger technology industry sector using healthcare and wellness benefits to stand out in attracting top talent?


How a company positions their benefit and wellness program makes a statement to employees about the culture the company is looking to cultivate. This statement is something that can help the company standout from competitors in a positive way. Wellness programs are an excellent way for companies to illustrate stewardship for their employees, something that can help attract thoughtful, productive employees.


Can cleantech players compete in the healthcare race with players like Microsoft, Google and Facebook?


Absolutely, the collective purchasing power of the cleantech industry is significant. The CleanTech Alliance is the voice for its members when it comes to healthcare delivery and has helped to create programs that can compete with large employers. Alliance members are bold thinkers who look for and develop new ways of doing things. We work together with the Alliance to continually innovate the healthcare program in the same way member companies are creating innovation within the cleantech industry.


What health plan trends do you expect to see transitioning into 2016 and beyond?


The development of innovative healthcare products and services, such as telemedicine, wearable devices and personal health coaching are current trends to take notice of. Being able to deliver these products and services seamlessly through a consolidated technology platform that is simple and easy to use is the challenge the industry faces. In addition, Accountable Care Provider Networks will help improve quality, increase patient satisfaction and lower costs. We expect to see significant growth within these networks.


Where do association health plans like the CleanTech Alliance Health Trust come into play?


Off the shelf, one size fits all healthcare delivery systems are challenged to create the unique products and services needed within a specific industry cluster such as cleantech. Association health plans also offer products designed exclusively for the needs and expectations of its industry membership. They also provide greater access to quality healthcare, specifically to new and emerging companies, which tend to be the driving force within our local economy.


What are the benefits of joining the CleanTech Alliance Health Trust vs. other options?


In addition to exclusive healthcare products, for the Cleantech Health Trust, pricing is based on a large group rating methodology, which offers preferred pricing unique to this industry. The Health Trust has also created a “one stop shop” platform that can deliver a full array of benefits and services saving members time when implementing and administering their benefit program.


What are you hearing from members of the CleanTech Alliance Health Trust?


Members are looking for ways to differentiate themselves from competitors without creating burdensome administrative and operational processes. They are also expecting the cost of quality healthcare to be more predictable year over year. Members also expect the bar for creativity and innovation to be raised significantly within the healthcare industry, as it has within the cleantech industry.

What are the eligibility parameters for companies that want coverage and how do they apply?


In general, companies within the cleantech industry headquartered in Washington State with two or more employees are eligible to participate.



Interested in learning more about the CleanTech Alliance Health Trust? Visit this webpage or download our fact sheet.