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]

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]

Government Shutdown and the Healthcare Debate


I have stated many times in these pages that I believe America is moving in the right direction with healthcare. We are a wealthy nation, and I believe everyone is entitled to healthcare as a right. What I love most about this country are the rights and freedoms we all enjoy—rights and freedoms that are… [Read More]

This Skeptic Is Still Hopeful about Healthcare Reform


As I write these blog entries, I often ask myself, “Am I one of those negative people? Do I always see the downside?”  For more than a year I have been writing with a cautionary, skeptical tone about whether the Obama Administration has bit off more than it can chew with federal healthcare reform. I really… [Read More]

The Insurance Exchange: If You Build It, Will They Come?

Recently the President and his head of HHS met with insurance industry executives to reaffirm the commitment to the insurance exchanges. The exchanges, a significant part of the ACA legislation, are intended to help individuals and small businesses more easily procure less-costly healthcare. Like many pieces of the ACA, exchanges are off to a rocky start. Many states have opted not to establish a… [Read More]

ACA Implementation: Oh, and What About Rating Virgin Groups?


A slew of unanticipated outgrowths of healthcare reform will challenge lawmakers in the years ahead but perhaps none will be as interesting as figuring out how to handle employers who want to offer coverage but don’t have a health insurance carrier who will write their policy. Under the ACA, an applicable large employer must offer health… [Read More]

Delays, More Delays and Bureaucracy


So. . .they did it again. Tuesday HHS announced that the Federally-Facilitated and Partnership exchanges or marketplaces (the Small Business Health Options Program or SHOP exchanges) that will operate in 33 states will not be fully functional until 1/1/2015.  Employers in these states purchasing coverage through the exchange will only be able to offer one… [Read More]

Who Pays for Healthcare Reform?

The Society of Actuaries predicted Tuesday that medical claims costs — the biggest driver of insurance premiums — will jump an average 32 percent for individual policies under the ACA legislation.  By 2017 the estimated increase is about 80 percent for Ohio, 62 percent for California and more than 20 percent for Florida. This makes… [Read More]

Limited Provider Network Plans May Help Employers Meet ACA Affordability Standard

While ACA is a very complicated piece of legislation, let’s try to simplify it. If employer-sponsored plans can meet two major provisions of the law—affordability and “minimum value”—a lot of the problems go away. Most experts feel that an employer will not have much difficulty meeting the minimum value provision, which is offering a plan… [Read More]

Rate Shock Will Impact Small Businesses, Individuals

D-Day is coming for small groups and individuals. The release of the January 1, 2014, plans and rates will be an eye-opener for most Americans covered by these plans. In most states, rates for small groups and individuals are based on the age of the insured and health questions. Under PPACA, there will be no… [Read More]