Emily Kubis

Recent Posts

Employees blame insurers for surprise medical bills

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Sep 17, 2018 @ 08:09

How employers can help

A majority of Americans have received a surprise medical bill in the last year, and a new study provides some insight into how consumers feel about medical billing — and where they place the blame for unexpected costs.

According to the study, published by research organization NORC at the University of Chicago, the majority of respondents named insurance companies as very responsible for surprise billing, followed next by hospitals. Most of the surprise charges were for a physician’s service, followed by lab tests.

The study illustrates that despite years of conversations around price transparency and consumer-directed healthcare, the industry is still struggling to effectively educate employees about their benefits and care costs.

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

How financial advisors can help retirees get Medicare right

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Sep 12, 2018 @ 09:09

Four tips for financial advising clients

Healthcare costs in retirement are expensive —  Fidelity Benefits Consulting estimates a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare, not including long-term care expenses.

One of the reasons Medicare can be so costly is that there are 18 different options for retirees. With more choice comes more complexity, and consumers often don’t pick the right or most cost-effective strategy for their needs.

However, financial advisors can assist retirees in both planning ahead for healthcare costs in retirement as well as finding the right strategy. To learn more about this, click here to check out the webinar, “Medicare Open Enrollment: Top Four Ways Financial Advisors Can Help Clients Get Healthcare Right,” or read on for more.

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

How much does healthcare cost in retirement?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Aug 31, 2018 @ 08:08

Questions to ask to help project healthcare spending

According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring this year will spend $275,000 on healthcare, not including long-term care expenses. This number continues to rise every year, leading even affluent Americans to say they are “terrified” of what healthcare costs may do to their retirement plans.

Fortunately, good planning can help retirees ensure they have the right healthcare strategy into retirement and throughout their lives.

Financial advisors are playing an increased role in helping clients develop these strategies.

Here are four questions advisors and wealth managers can ask their clients to help project care spending:

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

Culture of health reduces turnover by a third

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Aug 29, 2018 @ 06:08

What employers can do

A new study by Mercer found employers’ turnover rate dropped by a third when comparing companies doing the most to help employees thrive, versus those doing the least.

Employees stay longer when the culture of health is stronger, the study found. Further, employers engaging in more “wellbeing practices,” also bend the cost curve more substantially.

What are the well-being practices? The study broke them down into three categories, “basic,” “culture of health,” and “quality and value.” Here are a few of these solutions for cost containment and employee well-being.

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

Congress considers dueling parental leave policies

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 27, 2018 @ 06:08

What employers should know

Congress is working on a solution for paid parental leave, with options currently under consideration on both sides of the aisle.

Most recently, Sen. Marco Rubio released the “Economic Security Act for New Parents,” which would allow parents to withdraw early Social Security benefits to use after the birth or adoption of a child. Parents who took advantage of this bill would then delay the collection of those benefits in retirement

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

How new short-term health plan rules could affect employees

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Aug 24, 2018 @ 06:08

New rules could create more options for employees

New rules from the Trump administration will expand the reach of short-term insurance plans, which could result in additional options for consumers, including employees.

The new rules extend the duration of short-term health plans from three months to 364 days, and would also allow the plans to be renewed. These regulations make short-term plans more like other types of insurance.

While these plans are generally cheaper than other types of coverage, they do not cover as many services as traditional health plans, such as preventive care or prescriptions.

Still, many anticipate that consumers looking for lower-cost alternatives may forgo comprehensive coverage and elect these plans, especially as the individual mandate penalty no longer applies next year.

Why does this matter to employers? In a few circumstances, employees could choose these new options instead of workplace options. Here are a few scenarios where this could apply.

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

Nearly 50,000 employers at risk for ACA penalties

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 20, 2018 @ 08:08

Address compliance with a benefits platform

Accounting Today reports that of the 318,296 organizations that are required to offer health benefits through the Affordable Care Act’s employer mandate, 49,259 are at risk for compliance action by the IRS.

At least 30,000 penalty assessment notices have already been issued to employers for compliance issues related to the Affordable Care Act.

This news illustrates that despite some changes brought about to the law by President Trump’s administration, much of the law is still standing, and employers should keep a close eye on their compliance to avoid costly penalties.

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, BerniePortal, aca compliance, benefits technology, employer mandate

Bernard Health Named to 2018 Inc. 5000

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Aug 16, 2018 @ 09:08

For the second time, Nashville benefits advisory firm makes exclusive list of America's fastest-growing private companies

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Tags: Bernard Health, Alex Tolbert, Inc. 5000

How to handle employee absences outside of FMLA

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Aug 10, 2018 @ 09:08

What to do when FMLA doesn't apply

When it comes to personal or medical employee absences, the Family and Medical Leave Act provides a standard set of requirements for employers with over 50 employees.

But there are cases where FMLA does not apply. If you have less than 50 employees, or the employee has not worked for the company the required amount of time for FMLA eligibility—1,250 work hours or 12 months of active employment—how do you handle employee leave?

The process will vary based on the specific circumstances at your organization, as there isn’t a “one-size-fits-all” approach when FMLA doesn’t apply. But in general, here are two scenarios—one where the employee has Short-Term Disability coverage, and one without Short-Term Disability coverage.

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Tags: group benefits, group plan, broker, BernieHR, FMLA

The pros and cons of a PEO

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Aug 08, 2018 @ 11:08

Five things to consider

Are you considering using a Professional Employer Organization (PEO) at your business? Businesses can partner with a PEO to outsource a variety of administrative tasks, including HR, payroll, health insurance and more.

When partnering with a PEO, the organization effectively becomes the employer of record of your employees. There are some pros and cons associated with this arrangement. Here are five things to consider about PEOs.

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Tags: group benefits, group plan, broker, Professional Employer Organization, PEO

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employer healthcare freedom
employer healthcare freedom