What is stop-loss coverage?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Jul 20, 2018 @ 09:07

How self-funded insurers cover high claims

Are you an employer or business leader considering self-insuring your company’s health plan? Some employers believe that because they wouldn’t be able to sustain very high medical claims, self-insurance isn’t for them. However, stop loss coverage protects self-insured groups against these high costs, and can make this a good option for groups that might otherwise not consider it.

Here’s what you should know about stop-loss coverage when considering a self-funded health plan.

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Tags: group benefits, group plan, broker, self-funded, self-insurance, stop-loss coverage

What employers need to know about the new Association Health Plan regulations

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jul 18, 2018 @ 10:07

New regulations create more options for employers

The U.S. Department of Labor announced on Tuesday it plans to allow small businesses to join together and offer association health plans.

The plans would not have to adhere to some of the stricter standards required under the Affordable Care Act. This could result in cheaper insurance options for small businesses and their employees, though some consumer groups warn some patients may lose access to care.

Here’s what employers need to know.

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Tags: group benefits, group plan, offer health insurance, broker, small group market

Three health care tools that will save you money

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 16, 2018 @ 09:07

How to use price-shopping tools 

Have you ever tried to price-shop for your health care? While consumers are usually familiar with doing so when it comes to buying most goods and services, health care has been different.

Typically, it has been really hard, if not impossible, to get an accurate sense of what health care visits and services will cost you ahead of time. 

Health care pricing has traditionally been very opaque, but as deductibles keep rising, consumers are paying for more and more of their own care. As a result, consumers are increasingly trying to find cost and quality information before they schedule a surgery or pick up a prescription.

Fortunately, new tools are available to make this process easier. While shopping for health care still isn’t as simple as running a quick search on Amazon, there are some websites and apps that can give you a general sense of what you might expect to pay. Let’s review three popular health care price-shopping tools — Healthcare Bluebook, MDSave and GoodRx.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Affluent Americans concerned about healthcare costs in retirement

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Jul 13, 2018 @ 09:07

How financial advisors can help

According to a new study by Nationwide, 75 percent of affluent, older adults list out-of-control healthcare costs as one of their top fears in retirement, and 64 percent of future retirees say they are “terrified” of what healthcare costs may do to their retirement plans.

As healthcare prices continue to skyrocket, from premiums to procedural costs, this trend has been on the rise, and financial advisors are taking note.

More and more advisors and wealth managers are incorporating a healthcare component to their retirement advice, providing not just a cushion for unexpected healthcare expenses, but also assisting clients in finding the most cost-effective strategy for the best coverage possible.

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

How many employees do you need for a group plan?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Jul 11, 2018 @ 11:07

Planning to offer group benefits?

Are you a small business owner considering your options for group health insurance coverage? While employers with fewer than 50 full-time employees are not required to offer health insurance to employees, many still choose to do so. Offering group coverage is a great way to improve recruitment and retention, and can sometime be the best option for very small groups, as opposed to having employees obtain individual coverage.

But how many employees do you need to be considered a group?

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Tags: group benefits, group plan, offer health insurance, broker, small group market

How much does a group health plan cost?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jul 09, 2018 @ 09:07

Planning to offer group benefits

While businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees are not required to offer a group health plan to employees, many organizations still choose to do so. Offering a medical plan benefit is a great way to improve recruitment and retention and can sometimes be the best coverage option for employees. But how much does a group health plan cost, especially for small businesses?

Health plan costs vary pretty substantially depending on the type of plans offered, the region in which your business operates, and the demographic makeup of your employees.

That said, on average, annual premiums for single coverage for small businesses total $6,163 and annual premiums for family coverage total $16,625, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

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Tags: group benefits, group plan, offer health insurance, broker, small group market

Are short-term health insurance plans a good fit for your clients?

Posted by Ryan McCostlin on Fri, Jul 06, 2018 @ 08:07

Check out this article on healthcare costs in Financial Advisor:

As health-care costs continue to rise and become a more substantial financial concern for Americans at every income level, financial advisors are increasingly being asked to weigh in on strategies for insurance and medical costs.

One option that advisors may be asked to weigh in on is the short-term medical plan. These plans are significantly cheaper than comprehensive coverage—premiums are often a fraction of the cost of traditional coverage. This is because they cover a lot less.

More Americans are becoming aware of short-term plans as an option because their coverage costs are rising so quickly. Further, President Trump’s administration has issued guidance to extend these plans and make them more competitive options against traditional, comprehensive coverage.

In some cases, choosing a short-term strategy can help your client avoid thousands in unnecessary premium costs. In other cases, selecting a short-term plan may expose your client to significant financial liability.

In either case, having a good grasp on these options and their differences allows financial advisors to help clients protect themselves and make the best decisions for medical coverage.

Here’s what financial advisors need to know about short-term plans, the risks of purchasing them and a few situations where they may be a good fit for your clients.

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Tags: short-term health insurance, healthcare advice, financial advisors, healthcare extension, wealth managers, retirees

How to choose your health insurance broker

Posted by Chase Ballard on Tue, Jul 03, 2018 @ 06:07

How to compare brokers

Choosing a health insurance broker is a tedious task. You want a broker who is helpful in keeping your benefits spend down without sacrificing any benefits that help you with employee recruitment and retention.

Guess what? There are brokers who care about your business and your employees just as much as you do!

Here are some steps that you can follow to make sure you’re choosing the right broker:

  1. Be sure to consider all of your options: You can never consider too many brokerages. There are lots of brokerages out there, some will go above and beyond to keep your costs low without sacrificing benefits, most will just follow market trends.
  2. Don't be afraid to ask questions: A good broker will be able to field all of your questions about alternate financing, plan administration, and compliance. Here’s a link to some questions you should ask your broker.
  3. Talk to your friends: If you’ve noticed that other businesses are keeping the cost of their health plan down, don’t hesitate to ask how they’re doing it.
  4. Ask about the broker’s clientele: If the broker is having a hard time holding on to clients, chances are they’re not a good fit for you.
  5. Don’t be afraid to make a change: You’ve got to do what’s best for your business. Shopping around could save you a lot of money!
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Tags: group plan, employer digest, employee benefits

Five questions to ask before having a medical procedure

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Jul 02, 2018 @ 09:07

How to make more informed medical decisions

When planning a medical procedure, making a well-informed decision is really important. While this is not always possible during an emergency medical scenario, having as much information as possible for elective procedures can help you get the best care, as well as avoid surprise bills or inflated charges.

You may not be able to get an accurate estimate of how much a procedure will cost ahead of time, but there are several questions you can ask to minimize your exposure to financial risk.

Here are five questions to ask before having a medical procedure.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, surprise medical bills

Online onboarding: What HR should look for

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Fri, Jun 29, 2018 @ 06:06

How HR can improve the onboarding experience and improve retention

This column was originally published in HR Technologist.

A new study released by software company Digitate found that employees who had a negative onboarding experience were twice as likely to look for new opportunities in the near future. With the hiring market in the hands of applicants, many organizations are focusing on making improvements to their recruitment and retention strategies. 

One way to improve the new hire experience and retention is to use an online onboarding system, which reduces the administrative burden of bringing on a new employee.

But how should HR leaders think about comparing the different onboarding solutions? Here are some of the things you should look for when evaluating a system.

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Tags: BerniePortal, broker, onboarding

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employer healthcare freedom
employer healthcare freedom