Emily Kubis

Emily is member of the BerniePortal marketing team and focuses on content creation. She writes about benefits, technology, the healthcare industry and more.

Recent Posts

Will healthcare undermine your clients’ retirement strategy?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 @ 14:11

Affluent Americans are concerned about the impact of healthcare costs on retirement

According to a new study published by Nationwide, healthcare costs are a major concern as adults age, and six in ten affluent Americans surveyed are “terrified” of how healthcare costs may derail their retirement plans.

These consumers are right to be concerned about these costs in retirement – expenses are expected to top $280,000 in retirement, according to a 2018 estimate by Fidelity Investments.

More than half of the respondents surveyed by Nationwide said they are concerned about not having the money they need to cover unplanned medical expenses in retirement, and Nationwide confirms many Americans are already unable to handle unexpected healthcare costs.

Read More

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

UnitedHealthcare launches new health plan option for Tennessee small employers

Posted by Emily Kubis on Tue, Nov 13, 2018 @ 09:11

New option for small employers could produce savings

UnitedHealthcare announced this fall the launch of a new group health plan option for small employers in Tennessee.

The carrier’s ‘All Savers’ product is a Dividend-Eligible health plan. Sometimes called a ‘level-funded’ health plan, this self-funded strategy allows employers to have more transparency into where their claims dollars are spent and access to savings in low-claim years.

This product has been available in other UnitedHealthcare markets for years, beginning with a 2013 launch in Colorado. The launch in Tennessee demonstrates the success of this strategy in the small employer market.

All Savers is available for groups of five to 100 eligible employees. But how does a Dividend-Eligible plan work?

Read More

Tags: group plan, group benefits, employers, dividend-eligible, UnitedHealthcare, all savers, tennesseee

Three surprise healthcare costs that can affect retirement savings

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Nov 08, 2018 @ 13:11

How to prepare

Do your clients have the information they need to effectively plan for healthcare costs in retirement? More and more advisors are recognizing that healthcare is an area of significant concern when it comes to retirement savings, but many retirees are still not planning for all of their potential costs.

Financial advisors have the opportunity to help clients better understand what to expect, and how to plan ahead for healthcare costs. In particular, here are three surprise healthcare costs that many Americans are not currently planning for.

By developing expertise in these areas in-house or partnering noncommissioned insurance advisors, financial advisors and wealth managers can give peace of mind to clients.

Read More

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

How financial advisors can help clients with open enrollment

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Oct 31, 2018 @ 10:10

Open enrollment begins Nov. 1

Open enrollment is here! Beginning Nov. 1, consumers can compare and enroll in Affordable Care Act plans via Healthcare.gov and state-based marketplaces until Dec. 15. You may already have clients asking for advice in this area, or you may know of clients who could use assistance in choosing the right healthcare strategy.

Here are a few tips for how financial advisors can help clients with open enrollment, providing another level of comprehensive service and wealth management.

Read More

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

Family premiums for employer plans top nearly $20,000

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Oct 17, 2018 @ 09:10

Costs outpace wages, inflation

Annual family premiums for employer-sponsored health insurance rose five percent to $19,616 in 2018, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Employer Health Benefits Survey.

On average, workers are paying $5,547 toward the cost of family coverage, with employers picking up the rest of the tab. Annual premiums for single coverage increased 3 percent this year, to $6,896, with workers paying an average of $1,186.

The data confirms what most employers already know — that group health plan costs are increasingly taking up bigger and bigger portions of company budgets.

Read More

Tags: group plan, group benefits, self-funded, employers, self-insure

How employers can lower group health plan claims

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Oct 15, 2018 @ 09:10

Three ways to lower claim costs

As healthcare prices continue to rise, most employers would like to have more control over their group health plan and its costs. However, this requires better visibility into medical claims incurred by employees, and fully-insured plans typically provide almost no transparency into where the employer’s dollars are going.

Alternatively, self-funded plans give employers better insight and control over their claims spend. As a result, self-insuring is becoming a more attractive options for groups of all sizes, especially as fully-insured rates continue to rise at unsustainable levels for small and mid-sized businesses.

There are three main ways to reduce claims spend.

Read More

Tags: group plan, group benefits, self-funded, employers, self-insure

Financial advisors: Do your clients need help with healthcare costs and coverage?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Oct 08, 2018 @ 08:10

How to identify clients who need help

More and more financial advisors are recognizing that healthcare costs have a material impact on clients’ retirement strategies, and are taking steps to provide more comprehensive advising in this area.

One way of accomplishing this is by offering a Healthcare Extension through Bernard Health to provide clients access to licensed, noncommissioned health insurance experts to assist in finding the right strategy.

You may already have some clients asking for assistance in this area, but clients in the following scenarios may also benefit from additional support and advice.

Read More

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

UnitedHealthcare launches Association Health Plan option for Texas small employers

Posted by Emily Kubis on Thu, Oct 04, 2018 @ 09:10

New option could produce premium savings for some groups

UnitedHealthcare announced this week the launch of a state-wide geographically-based Association Health Plan (AHP) for small employer groups in Texas.

This new United product provides another option for Texas employers with 2 to 50 employees. For up to half of small employers in the Texas market, the AHP option could potentially produce premium savings of 5 percent to 15 percent, as compared to traditional, fully-insured small group rates.

The new option takes advantage of the executive order to expand AHPs from the Trump Administration. In the past, employers could only band together to offer health coverage if the association was trade-based. Now employers in a shared geographic area can also take advantage of economies of scale. (More: What employers need to know about the new Association Health Plan regulations)

Read More

Tags: group plan, group benefits, employers, association health plans, AHPs, Texas

Meet a BerniePortal developer!

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Oct 03, 2018 @ 09:10

We're hiring in Nashville

We’re a fast-growing team at Bernard Health and BerniePortal, and we’re looking for the best and brightest to join our team. We’re hiring software developers to help us grow our flagship product, BerniePortal, an all-in-one HR software system for small and mid-sized employers.

Interested in learning more? Check out the job listing here, or read on to meet one of our developers, Spencer York!

Read More

Tags: BerniePortal, recruitment

Are hospitals driving drug costs for employers?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Sep 28, 2018 @ 11:09

Study puts blame on hospital markups

Who is responsible for high healthcare costs, and high pharmaceutical costs in particular? The back and forth between drug makers, providers and insurers on this issue continues, with a new study laying the blame for high drug prices on hospital markups.

The new study, commissioned by Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America reports that nearly one in five hospitals markup drugs up to 700 percent or more. The study compared 3,792 hospitals and data from the Centers of Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The study notes that drug price markups often lead to higher reimbursements from health plans. Higher claim rates can often result in big premium increases for employers, and these costs are often then further passed on to employees.

Of course, hospitals are not the only source of prescription drugs for employees, and efforts to address skyrocketing drug prices will have to address inflation across the delivery system, including drug makers and prescription benefit managers.

However, self-funded employers may want to pay particular attention to hospital markups. In a self-funded plan, employers are responsible for paying claims up to a stop-loss threshold, and so prescription spending in the hospital setting can be a cost driver. Here are three tips for reducing prescription spend at hospitals for self-funded groups:

Read More

Tags: group plan, group benefits, self-funded, employers, self-insure

Email Subscription

employer healthcare freedom
employer healthcare freedom