Three healthcare costs your retirement plan should address

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, May 21, 2018 @ 07:05

Plan ahead for healthcare costs in retirement

Planning for retirement? Don’t forget health care. According to Fidelity Benefits Consulting, a 65-year-old couple retiring in the last year will spend $275,000 on health care, not including long-term care expenses.

This can be a real surprise for some consumers. There is a misconception that once a consumer reaches Medicare eligibility, there are no more out-of-pocket health care costs, but that is not the case.

Medicare does not cover everything, so planning ahead for health care expenses is a crucial part of a comprehensive retirement strategy. Here are three health care costs that can affect retirees.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

Healthcare tech: Why Nashville will beat Silicon Valley

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Fri, May 11, 2018 @ 06:05

The Silicon Valley model doesn't work in healthcare

Silicon Valley tech companies like Apple, Google and Uber are known for using technology in new ways to solve old problems, and sometimes, radically changing consumer behavior in the process. 

These three companies are reportedly pursuing health care investments, which could mean health care is the next industry to be disrupted by technology. 

Of course, these companies aren’t the first to tackle health care. Health care start-ups have been launched across the country, including in Nashville.

In fact, the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, Nashville’s business development nonprofit, launched a start-up accelerator focused on health care in 2016. Thirteen local companies were initially tapped to participate in Project Healthcare in 2017, launching solutions for everything from prescription drug abuse to health care staffing.

The advantage Nashville’s start-up community has over Silicon Valley is its depth of health care experience. Nearly 400 healthcare companies have operations in Nashville, contributing an economic benefit of $38.8 billion to the local economy, and more than $84 billion in revenues globally.

Nashville’s health care expertise gives Music City entrepreneurs a big competitive edge against comparable start-ups in Silicon Valley.

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Tags: healthcare, The Tennessean, healthcare costs

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

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

Network dispute leads to $14 million in balance bills

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 @ 10:04

Patients could see balance bills soon

Are you covered under BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee Network S? You may not have known that prior to this year, BlueCross had an agreement with HCA TriStar hospitals to provide emergency care at in-network rates, even though HCA TriStar hospitals are not a part of Network S. 

That agreement ended as of January, and the result is a $14 million headache that may soon affect patients’ pocketbooks. HCA has announced it will soon begin balance billing BlueCross members for out-of-network care received at TriStar facilities. 

What does all this mean?

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Tags: healthcare, aca, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, amazon, apple

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

Tech companies tackling healthcare

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Wed, Apr 11, 2018 @ 09:04

Is tech disruption coming?

Tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google have revolutionized our lives. Many of us hail rides on our smartphones, run our homes with virtual assistants, and can have almost any item we need delivered directly to us.

But there’s one corner of the American economy that has, so far, held tech disruption at bay—healthcare.  Perhaps more than any other industry, healthcare has resisted the trends that have radically changed the ways we shop, bank, travel and more.

We still use paper forms at the doctor’s office, you still have to call to make appointments, competition has dwindled, and prices have skyrocketed. Sounds like an industry ready for disruption, right?

The above companies seem to think so. So far this year, several big tech companies have announced plans to tackle healthcare. While no single company could solve all of the healthcare industry’s issues, the companies are proposing solutions to different pieces of the puzzle.

Here are plans from Amazon, Apple, Uber, Lyft and Google to bring healthcare into the 21st century.

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Tags: healthcare, aca, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, amazon, apple

What is the Medical Loss Ratio?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Apr 06, 2018 @ 08:04

Is the MLR driving up employer healthcare costs?

A piece of the Affordable Care Act that seeks to cap insurer profits may be driving employer healthcare costs in some cases.

The ACA’s Medical Loss Ratio intended to cap the profits of insurance companies by requiring them to pay out 80 percent of what they collect in premiums, leaving 20 percent for administrative costs, marketing and profit.

The reasoning behind this was to put eight out of every ten insurer dollars toward claims, as opposed to other parts of their business.

However, this also means the maximum profit insurers can collect is 20 percent of premiums. As a result, the avenue to profit growth is to increase premiums altogether, especially for those not surpassing the 80 percent threshold.

Employers are left to question whether insurers are best positioned to help employers lower medical claims, and what really drives annual premium increases of 10 percent, 15 percent, 20 percent or more.

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Tags: health insurance small employers, Self-Insured, healthcare costs, Medical Loss Ratio, employer digest, employee benefit adviser, self-funded, reference based pricing, self-insurance, network discount

Health insurance market may soon split according to healthy, sick

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Apr 02, 2018 @ 07:04

Individual mandate changes to affect individual market


For most consumers, 2019 feels pretty far away. But in the insurance world, it’s practically right around the corner. In just a few short months, carriers will have to decide if they intend to sell individual insurance next year.

These decisions will be influenced by recent proposals by President Trump’s administration that would allow carriers to offer plans that don’t meet current Affordable Care Act standards. This could result in more coverage options outside of the ACA, but it could also lead to fewer options and premium increases for ACA plans.

In other words, these health policy changes could create two separate insurance markets, one for healthy consumers, and one for sicker consumers.

To see how this could happen, let’s look into the health care crystal ball and see how these health care policy changes might play out in Tennessee and elsewhere.

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Tags: healthcare, aca, rising healthcare costs, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, pricing

Three ways Congress could reduce health care costs in the U.S.

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Mar 12, 2018 @ 09:03

Employers teaming up to address healthcare

America’s legislators have been debating health policy for years, but very few proposals have addressed the one issue consumers say they are most concerned about — the high cost of receiving health care in the U.S. 

Americans pay more for health care than anyone else in the world, even for the exact same services and prescriptions. For example, consumers in the U.S. pay $2,669 for a 28-day supply of the rheumatoid arthritis drug Humira, while the Swiss pay just $822 — less than a third of the U.S. price.

The reasons are numerous and complicated, but pricing issues have largely been ignored by Congress in the past decade.

Here are three policy ideas that would affect healthcare pricing. While these proposals would represent a shift, they could lead to more affordable health care in the U.S. 

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Tags: healthcare, aca, rising healthcare costs, The Tennessean, healthcare costs, pricing

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