Three healthcare costs your retirement plan should address

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, May 21, 2018 @ 07:05

Plan ahead for healthcare costs in retirement

Planning for retirement? Don’t forget health care. According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring in the last year will spend $275,000 on health care, not including long-term care expenses.

This can be a real surprise for some consumers. There is a misconception that once a consumer reaches Medicare eligibility, there are no more out-of-pocket health care costs, but that is not the case.

Medicare does not cover everything, so planning ahead for health care expenses is a crucial part of a comprehensive retirement strategy. Here are three health care costs that can affect retirees.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Reference-based pricing: The PPO alternative

Posted by Woody Waters on Fri, May 18, 2018 @ 09:05

Do you know the true cost of your healthcare

With the cost to provide a health plan for employees continuing to rise year after year, many business owners are at a loss for how to continue to pay for coverage while still remaining profitable. Many are looking for a new way to offer benefits to their employees, and there are options available that brokers can present to clients looking to go beyond the healthcare status quo.

Do you know the true cost of your healthcare?

PPOs are overwhelmingly the most popular form of healthcare for employer-sponsored plans. Most PPOs claim that by utilizing their network, members are given a discount off of the regular cost of services. But PPOs typically keep the true cost of the medical services a secret, so most of the time, businesses don’t have a clear understanding of the cost savings. With the lack of transparency of what the true cost of service is, and premiums continuing to increase year after year, more and more employers are questioning if PPOs are actually the most cost-effective type of healthcare for their business.

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Tags: brokers, reference based pricing

IRS sets HSA limits for 2019

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 16, 2018 @ 09:05

Limits slightly increased

The IRS has released the new Health Savings Accounts contribution limits and maximum out-of-pocket figures for 2019.

Next year, contribution limits for individuals rise to $3,500, from $3,450 in 2018. For families, limits rise to $7,000, from 2017’s $6,900.

Maximum out-of-pocket figures also rose—for individuals, the max out-of-pocket is $6,750, up from $6,650 in 2018, and for families, max out-of-pocket is $13,500, from $13,300 in  2018.

Bernard Health's HSA-eligible plan adoption rate is 81 percent—well over industry averages.  Here are three things to know about HSAs in 2019.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, health savings account, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, health savings accounts, heath insurance

High-earning small business owners can save thousands by switching to Medicare

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Mon, May 14, 2018 @ 08:05

Check out this article on healthcare costs in Financial Advisor:

With healthcare costs rising much faster than inflation, planning ahead for health-care expenses has been increasingly material to financial advising. But integrating care expenses into retirement planning is only part of the puzzle.

Ensuring that clients not only have enough in their retirement plan to cover healthcare expenses, but also have the most cost-effective strategy for their health coverage, is part of comprehensive financial planning.


In this column, I’ll explain how advisors can help clients save up to $12,000 annually by transitioning to Medicare. This is a situation that we see often for professionals who are partners or business owners in their organization, and nearing retirement age. For this example, we’ll use a client who works as an attorney and firm partner.

I’ll cover why transitioning off the group plan is often the right strategy, what Medicare choices are available, and how asking the right questions can uncover the best, most cost-effective coverage option for your client.

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Tags: Medicare Advice, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, ThinkAdvisor

Healthcare tech: Why Nashville will beat Silicon Valley

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 06:05

The Silicon Valley model doesn't work in healthcare

Silicon Valley tech companies like Apple, Google and Uber are known for using technology in new ways to solve old problems, and sometimes, radically changing consumer behavior in the process. 

These three companies are reportedly pursuing health care investments, which could mean health care is the next industry to be disrupted by technology. 

Of course, these companies aren’t the first to tackle health care. Health care start-ups have been launched across the country, including in Nashville.

In fact, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville’s business development nonprofit, launched a start-up accelerator focused on health care in 2016. Thirteen local companies were initially tapped to participate in Project Healthcare in 2017, launching solutions for everything from prescription drug abuse to health care staffing.

The advantage Nashville’s start-up community has over Silicon Valley is its depth of health care experience. Nearly 400 healthcare companies have operations in Nashville, contributing an economic benefit of $38.8 billion to the local economy, and more than $84 billion in revenues globally.

Nashville’s health care expertise gives Music City entrepreneurs a big competitive edge against comparable start-ups in Silicon Valley.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Reference-based pricing: What about balance bills?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 09, 2018 @ 08:05

Solutions for employers

Reference-based pricing is a new way for self-insured employers to pay for employee’s medical costs. Instead of using a traditional insurance carrier’s network, employers simply pay hospitals a percentage in excess of Medicare’s reimbursement rate for the same service.

Why would employers adopt this plan?  Generally, the benefit that insurers provide to employers are their network discounts for services. But with healthcare prices skyrocketing, employers are questioning whether this strategy provides enough value.

(More: How a 40-employee group saved $100,000 with reference-based pricing.)

Here’s how hospital pricing usually works.

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Tags: health insurance small employers, Self-Insured, self-funded, reference based pricing, self-insurance, balance billing

Financial planning clients are making a big healthcare mistake

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, May 07, 2018 @ 07:05

Retirees aren't prepared for healthcare costs

According to a new survey by the NHP Foundation, more than a third of Baby Boomers said they are most worried about affording healthcare in retirement. Sixty-five percent of those surveyed said that they have not budgeted for unforeseen health-related expenses.

This is a big mistake, as healthcare costs for a couple retiring this year are estimated at $275,000, not including long-term care expenses.

This trend presents a clear opportunity to financial advisors. By building healthcare  into clients’ retirement financial planning, advisors can provide peace of mind and a competitive differentiator.  By positioning themselves as comprehensive advisors, advisors are able to win new business and retain key clients.

How can financial advisors build out healthcare planning tools?

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

Group benefits for manufacturers

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, May 04, 2018 @ 07:05

Manufacturers face challenges in building benefits plans

Do you have the right strategy for your group health plan? Manufacturers face particular challenges when it comes to finding the right approach to building a sustainable benefits package.

Bernard Health has a decade of experience working with manufacturers, and we offer a suite of innovative products and services to help your employees make the best choices when it comes to healthcare.

Here are three areas of need manufacturers face when it comes to benefits. For more, download the free “Benefits Guide for Manufacturers.”

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Tags: health insurance small employers, group benefits, employer digest

Tips for optimizing an HSA benefits strategy

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 02, 2018 @ 08:05

Health Savings Account use continues to rise

A new study from the National Center For Health Statistics shows significant growth in the number of consumers with HSA-eligible plans and consumers with HSAs, though opportunities for increased adoption remain.

The study, which covered the first nine months of 2017, found that nearly half of privately insured consumers under the age of 65 have high-deductible, or HSA-eligible, health plans.

Eighteen percent of those enrollees also have a Health Savings Account, though a quarter of consumers with HSA-eligible plans do not yet have a Health Savings Account.

These percentages are on the rise. The percentage of people enrolled in HSA-eligible plans has increased almost 18 percent since 2010, and the percentage of people with HSAs has more than doubled since 2010.

Does your organization struggle with HSA adoption? Many do. Here are three challenges and solutions to an optimized HSA-eligible benefits strategy:

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Tags: HSAs, health savings accounts, employers, health insurance small employers, employer digest

How to use healthcare advice as a competitive differentiator

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Apr 30, 2018 @ 07:04

How to help financial advisor clients save money

As healthcare costs continue to skyrocket and affect Americans near or in retirement, financial advisors are increasingly integrating healthcare advice into their practices.

From Medicare costs in retirement to paying for long-term care, healthcare is a key part of a comprehensive financial plan.

(More: Healthcare costs are affecting retirees—financial advisors can help)

Rather than develop the healthcare expertise in house, many advisors are partnering with outside firms such as Bernard Health to offer this advice. Learn more about the Healthcare Extension through Bernard Health here.

If this is the approach your firm has taken, here are three strategies for success, and getting the most ROI out of your investment by using it as a competitive differentiator.

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Tags: Bernard Health, retirement, healthcare costs, financial planner, financial advisors, healthcare extension, medicare costs

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