Emily Kubis

Recent Posts

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

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

Group benefits for construction companies

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Apr 27, 2018 @ 08:04

Construction companies face challenges in building benefits plans

Do you have the right strategy for your group benefits plan? The construction industry faces 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 the construction industry, 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 construction companies face when it comes to benefits. For more, download the free “Benefits Guide for the Construction Industry.”

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

Need applicant tracking? Try BerniePortal Jobs

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Apr 23, 2018 @ 06:04

Launching BerniePortal's applicant tracking system

Bernard Health clients have access to BerniePortal, an industry-leading benefits and HR platform that makes it easy to manage both the transactional challenges of HR and the strategic challenges of healthcare for small and mid-sized employers.

BerniePortal recently launched BerniePortal Jobs, an applicant tracking system that allows small and mid-sized employers to attract candidates, manage applicants, make offers and onboard new hires with best-in-class software.

While BerniePortal Jobs has a wide range of capabilities, its basic functions include job post creation, job post sharing, collaborative candidate review, applicant communication, and job offering tools.

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Tags: BerniePortal, onboarding, employer digest, bernieportal jobs, applicant tracking

Healthcare costs are affecting retirees—financial advisors can help

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Apr 20, 2018 @ 08:04

How to help financial advisor clients save money

Healthcare costs in retirement are a huge concern for older Americans, and financial advisors are uniquely positioned to address this area of need. 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 has been on the rise for years, which is why smart planners are increasingly building healthcare planning into their clients’ financial goals and portfolios. But aside from asset management, there are many other intersections of healthcare and finance where consulting services are sorely needed but hard to find. 

Three areas advisors may not have considered as affecting their clients’ finances are yearly Medicare costs, high-dollar medical bills, and HSAs. Planners can help clients make more informed, cost-effective and tax-advantaged choices by partnering with insurance advisors, national consulting firms, or building expertise in-house.

Providing advisory services in these areas is to the benefit of both your clients and your practice. Here are three areas you may not have considered when it comes to retirement and healthcare costs, and how you can help your clients address them.

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

Employers—here’s how to adopt HR tech

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Apr 16, 2018 @ 09:04

Broker-supported benefits software is better than seeking a solution on your own

According to analytics firm Larocque Inc., venture capital investments in HR tech surpassed $1 billion in 2017, particularly focusing on talent acquisition, followed by HCM (human capital management) tools to manage core HR functions.

These tools include benefits, time tracking, applicant tracking and more.

The takeaway is that small and mid-sized employers are on the cusp of a huge move to administer HR and benefits online.

But how do you know which type of solution is right for your organization, and where can you find the right solution?

The first place to start is by asking your broker what solutions they can provide or recommend. Many brokers nationwide license software tools to streamline benefits and HR administration. Bernard Health clients have access to BerniePortal, an all-in-one benefits and HR platform.

There are a few benefits of a broker-supported platform:

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Tags: broker software, health insurance brokers, employers, solutions for employers, health insurance small employers, employer plans, broker, employer digest, HR tech

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