Don Fechter: Innovating Solutions through Cambridge Benefit Solutions

by Kari Pieratt

Don Fechter, president of Cambridge Benefit Solutions, started the company in 1998 with a drive and determination to support businesses with meaningful, valuable and relevant benefit offerings. It’s been Fechter’s comprehensive support of business owners, helping them make informed decisions for affordable, long-term, sustainable healthcare offerings, that has propelled his company to be a top benefit consultant firm over the past two decades. His expertise in this field started in the early 1990s, working with two national health insurance carriers. There he learned the mechanics of the healthcare industry and its delivery system.

He took his experience in serving the end-consumer and finding strategic solutions, and, in the late 1990s, applied it to his work as an independent consultant. Doing right by the customer, he believed, meant focusing on solving problems within the hour or within the business day. He earned his clients’ trust by being sincere and reliable, and going the extra distance to offer strategies to curb the tide of continually rising healthcare costs.

“To remain innovative and competitive in a constantly changing and chaotic healthcare marketplace takes a strong team to take care of customer requests and bring long-term solutions to business clients,” Fechter says. Founding CBS, he developed the “8 Pillars of Business Excellence”: personal integrity, initiative and drive for results, strategic thinking, customer focus, teamwork and collaboration, conceptual thinking, people first, planning/organizing and follow-up. He built his team with people who share those ideals and match his dedication.

Over the company’s two decades in business, CBS has partnered with two general healthcare agencies in Phoenix. This partnership allows CBS to design unique health plan offers. Knowing that simply offering the “same-old, same-old” approach will yield similarly predictable results, Fechter fosters an environment that encourages his team offer uncommon strategies for employers.

“Wise healthcare consumerism is still a developing concept,” Fechter says. Observing that most consumers do incredibly well when shopping, comparing and understanding their purchases for technology devices, TVs, homes and cars, he notes, “When it comes to using healthcare wisely, however, the vast majority of consumers get stuck. Typically, they do not know where to turn, and are challenged by how to seek affordable, quality healthcare services.”

This was a need Fechter developed CBS to address, and trained his employees to teach clients’ employees how to be better healthcare consumers. CBS offers educational videos, personal consultations, resource materials and access to personal health advocacy services.

The CBS team also helps employers become wise healthcare consumers for their workforce. Options include traditional health plans as well as alternative offers such as Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) and customized tailored networks. “In particular,” Fechter notes, “CBS has been successful with industry-specific health plan association groups that allow small and midsize companies to band together to purchase group health insurance in a self-funded program.” For mid-sized and large employers, CBS can also develop long-term strategies with level-funded or self-funded programs. “What continues to be important to me is helping employers looking to differentiate themselves in the marketplace,” he shares. To that end, CBS can help implement wellness programs with premium discounts and rewards, personal health advocacy programs, and tele-doc services at zero cost.

“To impact the marketplace, consumers and organizations need to become wise healthcare consumers, looking beyond traditional approaches to find better healthcare options that are affordable and sustainable,” Fechter says. He believes it will take continued collaboration between employers, benefit consultants and other business experts to develop new solutions for employee benefit programs. And he believes CBS plays a vital role in its commitment to finding solutions and strategies that are beneficial for everyone in the healthcare delivery system.

“Individuals and families are more equipped to get the quality care they need when employers offer quality employee benefit programs,” Fechter points out, and emphasizes, “In today’s healthcare climate, maintaining the status quo is no longer a viable solution.” Under his direction, Cambridge Benefit Solutions has become an industry leader in employee benefit program consulting and continues to innovate beyond traditional benefit planning with uncommon strategies to produce real, long-term outcomes.

Snapshot: Cambridge Benefit Solutions

  • Don Fechter founded Cambridge Benefit Solutions 20 years ago, after working in the healthcare industry for two national health insurance carriers.
  • CBS develops comprehensive, uncommon employee benefit strategies that allow employers to better sustain the rising cost of health insurance.
  • Out of more than 2,200 agencies, CBS has been recognized as a top benefits consultant for more than nine years by the largest general agency in the Southwest.
  • In 2017, CBS was recognized as a Copper Award recipient by the Health Arizona Worksites Program.

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