Anthem Gets Tough with Hospitals

Anthem Gets Tough with Hospitals2

One of the greatest frustrations our self-funded (and to a lesser extent, fully-insured) clients voice is that – despite the hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars they pay the insurers to assist in managing their health plan spend – too often it appears the insurers are complicit in the rising healthcare spend by not… [Read More]

No Need for Stigma

No Need for Stigma

I’m just going to come out and say it… It’s okay to go to therapy – AND it helps! For too long, the stigma of seeing a therapist has prevented delivery of much-needed care. People are concerned what their family, friends, and employer will think of them. Thankfully, the tide has turned; individuals and businesses… [Read More]

The Frustration of Out-of-Network Billing

The Frustration of Out-of-Network Billing

Do your employees understand all of the implications of receiving out-of-network treatment? Even when a plan provides out-of-network coverage, your employees may find themselves paying out-of-pocket for a lot more than they anticipated. As supervisor of our Benefits Help Desk service one of the most common inquiries or complaints I hear is from upset employees who’ve… [Read More]

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]

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]

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]

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]

A Look Back at Private Exchanges

A Look Back at Private Exchanges

It’s been about 5 years since we posted our thoughts about the likely adoption of private exchanges. At the time, consultants and Wall Street analysts were touting these exchanges as the greatest innovation in employer benefits since 401(k)s. Many suggested that by 2018 more than 20%, and perhaps as many as 50%, of employers would… [Read More]

Take Advantage of Health Insurer Cherry Picking

Take Advantage of Health Insurer Cherry Picking

I frequently witness the frustration of small group employers over the inability to customize plan design or receive premiums that reflect the health of their employee population. Growing companies often look forward to hiring their 51st employee, the magical threshold where many state insurance laws allow rate negotiation and some plan design flexibility. Some states even… [Read More]