What to Expect for 2018 Premium Increases

What to Expect for 2018 Premium Increases

UBS released its 2018 Large Employer Health Benefits Survey and the results are encouraging. Premium equivalents for this largely self-insured study group are expected to rise 6.1% on average from 2017. Interestingly, the shift to high-deductible plans and the increase in non-premium cost-sharing are expected to stabilize. Makes sense – the economy is improving and employees are… [Read More]

Insurers, Providers and Employers on a Collision Course 

Insurers, Providers and Employers on a Collision Course 

Trying to control healthcare costs is like trying to pick up Jell-O pudding with a pair of chop sticks. It is virtually impossible. The employer-based healthcare system relies on their intermediaries – primarily the large national insurers – to negotiate discounts, provide claims-paying acumen, fraud oversight and clinical expertise, among other things, in the administration of… [Read More]

Comparing Discounts in a Self-Insured Arrangement

Comparing Discounts in a Self-Insured Arrangement

In a self-insured plan, where 85% or more of cost is the actual payments made for medical claims, one of the most important factors to consider is the network; which one will provide the best access and which will yield the best provider discounts. Let’s start with access: which network most closely aligns with the providers your employees and… [Read More]

Zombie Apocalypse: Health Insurer’s Tax

Zombie Apocalypse Health Insurers Tax

In 2014, fully-insured employer plans were greeted with a nasty surprise – the Health Insurance Providers Fee. The insured’s already massive healthcare costs were being further inflated 1.5–2% due to the new tax congress levied on insurers, which was based upon each carrier’s market share in the health insurance market. Of course that $8 billion… [Read More]

The Biggest Issue in Healthcare Reform Today

presidential election health policy

Now that the GOP’s plan to remake healthcare by fiat seems to be failing, the Trump administration has once again pulled out one of its aces in the hole. Funding of cost sharing subsidies is the biggest issue today in the debate, viewed by the health insurance industry as “the single most destabilizing factor in… [Read More]

Fiduciary Rule Change Delay Results in No Changes

Fiduciary Rule Change Delay Results in No Changes

Well, the 60-day delay in implementing the Department of Labor’s new Fiduciary Rule came to an end with a big fat goose egg in the results column. This new rule – which requires all financial advisors providing services to retirement plans to put their clients’ interests of ahead of their own – has been a… [Read More]

It’s a Legislative Circus Out There

It’s a Legislative Circus Out There

My predictive skills have been working pretty well on healthcare reform. I suggested that it wouldn’t be easy or quick. I thought the House would fall in line and the Senate would eke something out – and that it ultimately will come to a thumbs up / thumbs down in both houses of Congress. With… [Read More]

Beware of Fake News – Fact Check Your Wellness Program

Beware of Fake News – Fact Check Your Wellness Program

One major goal in wellness is to offer accurate health information to our employees. It seems logical to let the “experts” handle this important job, but buyer beware – they don’t always get it right. Whether it be financial wellness, fitness classes, or nutrition seminars; employers need to vet out their vendors and fact check… [Read More]

Healthcare. Okay. Now What Do We Do?

Flag and Stethoscope

What a week it’s been. I am not sure why President Trump thinks that his latest attempt to coerce the Republican Congress will work better than his past efforts. The Democrats relied on 50 votes to get the Affordable Care Act (ACA) through and now the Republicans are trying to rely on 50 votes to make… [Read More]

Putting Consumer-Driven Health Plan Adoption on the Fast Track

Putting Consumer-Driven Health Plan Adoption on the Fast Track

With rising costs in the group-based market, trends in health plan design stay pointed at plans with member responsibility. So now, more than ever, employers should be concerned over the effectiveness of their employee benefit communications. Think your company is doing a great job? The 2017 Alegeus Broker and Employer Research Report finds employers are… [Read More]