Healthcare Reform… More of the Same

Healthcare in the Trump Era Takes Its First Step

The Senate is making one last-gasp effort to repeal ACA… Well, not actually repeal, just reconfigure. Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy have sponsored a bill, which will be eligible for consideration under budget reconciliation rules (i.e. 51 votes required to pass and not subject to filibuster). Under the bill the amounts paid by the federal… [Read More]

Student Loan Debt Repayment Benefits

Student Loan Debt Repayment Benefits

It would be nice if employers could set up a standardized benefit package that appealed to all employees across all demographics – but the reality is that one size doesn’t fit all. These days, many older employees are delaying retirement and there’s a strong influx of talented young employees entering the workforce. Employers are increasingly… [Read More]

Reviewing Contracts: An Essential Part of Health Plan Management

Reviewing Contracts An Essential Part of Health Plan Management

And you thought it was tough to decide on plan design, communication strategy and contributions for your medical benefits plan… Once the crush of implementation begins, the plan documents will start coming to your inbox and it’s critically important that you understand them completely. The obvious first steps would be to check the principal plan… [Read More]

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]

Another Blow to the Healthcare Exchanges as CareConnect Shutters

No Easy Answers Another Blow to Healthcare as CareConnect Shutters

CareConnect, the upstart insurance company founded in 2014 by Northwell Health in the Downstate New York marketplace, has made the decision to cease operations. It made a lot of sense that Northwell, a hospital chain with extensive provider connections, could cut out the middleman insurance company and offer insurance protection directly to its customers. It didn’t… [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]

States Petition to Chart Their Own Healthcare Course

States Petition to Chart Their Own Healthcare Course

­­The Trump administration has indicated a willingness to liberalize the Section 1332 State Innovation Waiver under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to make it easier for states to provide affordable coverage. So far, only Hawaii has been granted the ability to deviate from the ACA, but now Iowa will be testing the President’s stomach on… [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]

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]