When it comes to benefits, think like a CFO

Posted by Brian Tolbert on Wed, Aug 15, 2018 @ 15:08

How to get more transparency and better control over healthcare costs

Benefits are typically the largest expense item in a company’s budget next to payroll. Traditionally, managing the benefits budget hasn’t been like managing other business expenses, as employers have had little to no transparency into these costs. While most employers would be averse to accepting annual increases of 10 or 15 percent on other business expenses, they have never been able to apply the same level of scrutiny to their healthcare spend.

But things are changing. As healthcare spending continues to rise with no end in sight, maintaining the status quo is simply no longer an option. Fortunately, action steps similar to those you’d take in other parts of your organization are available for your health plan. At Bernard Health’s 8th Annual Health Reform Luncheon, our team explained how small and mid-sized company leaders can think about their benefits like a CFO. Here are some of the highlights.

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

Three things employers should know about the new HSA bills

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Aug 06, 2018 @ 09:08

New bills could expand qualified expenses and contribution limits

In July, the House of Representatives passed two new bills affecting Health Savings Accounts. The new bills could expand the list of qualified medical expenditures, as well as nearly double contribution limits.

With adoption of high-deductible health plans still on the rise, the new regulations would expand the opportunity for employers to maximize the value of their benefits plans and support employees in opening accounts.

Here’s what employers should know about the new bill:

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

Group benefits for nonprofits

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jun 11, 2018 @ 08:06

Nonprofits face challenges in building benefits plans

Do you have the right strategy for your group health plan? Nonprofits 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 nonprofits, 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 that nonprofits face when it comes to benefits. To learn more about this approach, click here to download the “Benefits Guide for Nonprofits."

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

Group benefits for restaurants and hospitality

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, May 25, 2018 @ 06:05

The restaurants and hospitality industries face challenges in building benefits plans

Do you have the right strategy for your group health plan? The restaurant and hospitality industries 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 restaurants and hospitality companies, 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 that restaurants and the hospitality industry face when it comes to benefits. For more, download the free “Benefits Guide for Restaurants and Hospitality.”

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

Renewal rate too high? What to do about your group plan

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 23, 2018 @ 08:05

Before you consider cutting your group plan benefits, read this.

If you’re a fully-insured employer who just received a huge rate hike on your group plan renewal, you may be considering cutting benefits or changing your plan design.

Instead, you may want to consider a change to your funding strategy. Employers have more choices than they realize when it comes to financing their employees’ healthcare. Purchasing a fully-insured health plan may be what you’ve always done, but there are a lot of alternatives that aren’t as complex as they seem.

These strategies can potentially save your organization tens of thousands of dollars, while allowing you to actually expand benefits options for your employees.

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

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Tags: health insurance small employers, Self-Insured, self-insurance, self-funded, reference based pricing, renewal rate

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-insurance, self-funded, reference based pricing, balance billing

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: employer digest, health insurance small employers, group benefits

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

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: employer digest, health insurance small employers, group benefits

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

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