Employers Responding to the Lure of Private Health Insurance Exchanges

Posted by on Jan 29, 2013 in Broker Development, Employee Benefit Program, Health, News | 0 comments

  Large companies are increasingly exploring the use of private health insurance exchanges as a means of controlling costs, according to a number of HR industry observers. Under a private insurance exchange arrangement, an employer privately contracts with one or more insurance carriers, each competing for the business by discounting insurance premiums for members of the group. In turn, the employer then provides each employee with a certain number of dollars with which they can buy coverage listed on the private exchange. This arrangement may offer some large employers the twin benefits of...

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20 States Opting Out of Health Insurance Exchanges. What Now?

Posted by on Jan 15, 2013 in Employee Benefit Program, Health, Human Resources | 0 comments

  Any small business owner who’s landed a big sale knows the feeling: The good news is, we got the contract! The bad news is, we got the contract! That’s what the Obama Administration is confronting now that we are deep into the implementation phase of the Affordable Care Act. For a while, there was some wiggle room: Mitt Romney promised to repeal the Act if he could get the votes in the Senate. And for a while it looked like he might win. But the election went to Obama, and so there was no avoiding the issue: The Affordable Care Act requires that health insurance...

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Understanding Options for Medicare Discount Card Programs

Posted by on Dec 28, 2012 in Health | 0 comments

  Many discount cards offer attractive prices for prescription medications. For brand name drugs, average savings range between 15 percent and 30 percent off of the normal prices. However, the discounts for mail-order drugs are even higher in many cases. The biggest discount offered is for generic drugs, which usually cost between 30 and 60 percent less. People who have Medicare are able to enroll in approved drug discount card programs. If a person receives outpatient prescriptions through Medicaid, he or she will not be eligible for these special programs. Those who receive help from...

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HMOs versus PPOs: What’s the Difference?

Posted by on Dec 26, 2012 in Health | 0 comments

  PPO stands for Preferred Provider Organization. This type of insurance has “preferred providers” with whom they have contracted to provide care to plan members at a reduced cost to the insurance company. “Out-of-network” providers are all other providers not associated with the organization. Plan members may choose to see out-of network providers, but most likely will end up paying more money, either in the form of a higher co-pay or as a result of higher initial costs. . With PPOs, however, you may see any doctor you wish. You don’t need a referral to see...

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The Benefits of HSA Contributions in 401(k) Plans

Posted by on Dec 18, 2012 in Health, Retirement | 0 comments

  Workers in the United States who are part of a health savings plan, which is commonly referred to as an HSA, built more than twice as much in their 401(k) plans as average participants last year. This statistic came from a study performed by Fidelity Investments regarding the 401(k) and HSA plans they manage. The study analyzed the data from account balances of almost 11 million participants’ corporate contribution plans. In addition to this, approximately 48,000 individuals holding an HSA account were surveyed. The HSA account holders had an average 401(k) balance of $175,500...

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Employers Increasingly Embracing High-Deductible Health Plans

Posted by on Dec 11, 2012 in Employee Benefit Program, Health | 0 comments

  More and more employers are offering high-deductible health plans, or HDHPs. These are specially-designed major-medical health insurance plans that come with a relatively high deductible. To compensate for the high deductible, plan participants can contribute pre-tax dollars to a health savings account, or HSA. Money in HSAs compounds tax-deferred, and funds spent for qualified health care expenses are tax free. HSAs are only available in combination with a high-deductible health plan. Because the plan isn’t on the hook for common but small expenses, HDHP/HSA plans are able to...

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