Mr. Garner began his career in employee benefits in 1971. Before founding Garner Consulting in 1987 he was a Principal in the Los Angeles office of Towers, Perrin, where he worked for over 10 years. Prior to that he managed a group claim office for Lincoln National Life. Previously he supervised a claim office for Prudential, where he also served as an underwriter. Mr. Garner received his B.A. from Occidental College in 1971, became a Chartered Life Underwriter in 1976, a Certified Professional Consultant to Management in 1991, a Certified Employee Benefits Specialist in 1993, Certified in Flexible Compensation Instruction in 2000, a Group Benefits Associate and a Retirement Plans Associate in 2001 and a Certified Management Consultant in 2005.
Mr. Garner is acknowledged as an expert regarding compliance, particularly health care reform, HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) and ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act).
His work as group benefits consultant has included; analyzing rate, dividend and reserve calculation; setting and adjusting self-funded plan budgets, including divisional allocations; estimating costs and savings from plan design changes; reviewing alternative funding methods; evaluating proposals from insurance companies, third party administrators and other vendors.
Mr. Garner has assisted in the design and implementation of flexible benefits programs. He served as a technical advisor on flexible benefits for the Family Economic Policy Task Force of the League of California Cities and the County Supervisors Association of California.
Mr. Garner also has special expertise in the area of cost containment, where his assignments have included: negotiating with providers to form a tailor-made preferred provider arrangement; assisting employers in formulating HMO strategies, including evaluating and implementing HMOs, consolidating HMO choices, negotiating HMO premiums and establishing payroll deduction levels; implementing utilization review and case management programs; evaluating alternative care providers; restructuring plan design; improving claim control procedures; evaluating wellness programs; implementing employee communication programs designated to change destructive lifestyles habits. He has also served as an expert witness on cost containment, testifying before the Arizona State Legislature and the Los Angeles County Commission on insurance.
Mr. Garner’s claim background has prepared him for such claim consulting assignments as: conducting and supervising medical, dental, disability and prescription drug claim audits; evaluating potential claim administrators; assisting claim offices with management problems; evaluating claim administration software packages; studying the feasibility of self administration; establishing procedures for determining reasonable and customary fee levels; interpreting plan documents in unusual and complicated situations; serving as an expert witness; drafting plan documents and summary plan descriptions.
In addition to his project experience, John Garner is a frequent speaker and has spoken to many groups, including the following:
- County Supervisors Association of California
- Disability Management Employer Coalition
- Employee Benefit Planning Association
- Employers Council on Flexible Compensation
- Employers Health Care Coalition of Los Angeles
- International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
- International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists
- League of California Cities
- Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters
- The National Health Lawyers Association
- Western Claim Conference
He is author of the Health Insurance Answer Book, co-author of the three-volume Medical/Disability Claims Handbook; additionally he has had dozens of articles published in numerous publications, including:
- Benefits Magazine
- Business Insurance
- Compensation and Benefits Management
- Employee Benefit Plan Review
- Employer’s Health Benefits Bulletin
- Journal of Health Care Benefits
- Managing Employee Health Benefits
- National Underwriter
- Spencer’s Research Reports
Mr. Garner is:
- National Legislative and Government Affairs advisor for the Disability Management Employer Coalition,
- A Past Member of the Governing Council of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists,
- Past President of the Employee Benefit Planning Association of Southern California,
- Past President and current Board Member of the Los Angeles Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists,
- Past President of the Greater Los Angeles Claim Association,
- Past President and current Board Member of the Western Claim Conference,
- Fellow of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists (CEBS),
- Member of the Los Angeles Association of Health Underwriters,
- Member of the California Association of Health Underwriters,
- Member of the National Association of Health Underwriters,
- Member of the Institute of Management Consultants,
- Member of the Society of Financial Service Professionals,
- Past Chairman of the advisory committee for the prenatal wellness program of the Southern California Chapter of the March of Dimes,
- Past Member of the March of Dimes’ national worksite programs advisory committee.