WHAT'S IN THE NEWS?

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Determining Whether Prescription Drug Coverage Is Creditable

Posted on October 23, 2018 | News to Know

BY Conner Insurance   Employers that provide prescription drug coverage to individuals who are eligible for Medicare Part D must inform these individuals and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) whether their prescription drug coverage is “creditable.” A group health plan’s prescription drug coverage is considered creditable if its actuarial value equals or…
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Health plans differ greatly in their approach to specialty drug use

Posted on October 21, 2018 | News to Know

BY Katie Kuehner-Hebert   Not all health plans treat coverage for specialty medications equally – in fact, they’re all across the board, according to the report, “Specialty Drug Coverage Varies Across Commercial Health Plans In The US,” published in Health Affairs. Indeed, only 15.9 percent of drug coverage policies are consistent across the largest U.S. commercial health plans, and…
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CVS-Aetna deal given go-ahead by U.S. antitrust regulators

Posted on October 20, 2018 | News to Know

FROM Bloomberg News   CVS Health Corp. and Aetna Inc. can go ahead with their about $68 billion deal, the Justice Department said, clearing the way for a merger that will create a health-care giant with a hand in insurance, prescription-drug benefits and drugstores across the United States. A previously planned sale of Aetna’s Medicare…
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3 strategies for reducing pharmacy costs

Posted on October 19, 2018 | News to Know

BY Rob Piazza   Nearly 30 percent of employers in a recent National Business Group on Health survey ranked specialty pharmacy drugs as a top driver of health care costs. As more high-priced drugs enter the market, employers must keep a closer eye on it as part of an overall cost-savings strategy. For employers and brokers trying…
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Hospital profits in Indianapolis were high, study finds. Why that’s not good for us

Posted on October 19, 2018 | News to Know

BY Shari Rudavsky   Hospitals in central Indiana enjoy a higher profit margin than those elsewhere because they overcharge insurers, which results in employers and consumers paying more for care than they should, a recent study concludes. The study, published last month in the International Journal of Health Economics and Management, used a publicly available…
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Employees’ health care burden growing 8 times faster than wages

Posted on October 18, 2018 | News to Know

BY Emily Payne   When the Kaiser Family Foundation started tracking employer health benefits 20 years ago, employee deductibles weren’t a concern. Over the years, though, the survey has adjusted to reflect not just the growing percentage of employees with a deductible (85 percent in 2018) but the growing amount of that deductible ($1,573 for an individual in…
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This enrollment season, target drug costs to control benefit spend

Posted on October 17, 2018 | News to Know

BY Marlene Satter   More than any other element in the cost of health care, the prices of prescription medications are soaring. And as companies try to contain benefits budgets in advance of this year’s open enrollment period and the need to choose which health plans to offer, they’re looking for ways to rein in prescription costs. Health care data analytics…
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PASSIONATE ABOUT SERVING MY CLIENTS

Posted on June 25, 2018 | Case Study

BY Joe Thompson   No policy is too big, like a million-dollar home, or too small, like a renter, for me to handle. I take my time with each client to make sure I take their case and give it the attention it needs so they walk away with the best insurance coverage possible. From…
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INDIVIDUALIZED SOLUTIONS INSURE SUCCESS

Posted on June 25, 2018 | Case Study

BY Tony Wilcox   Working at an independent insurance firm gives me a tremendous amount of flexibility when it comes to my client’s needs. This, of course, is beneficial to both the client and the agency. One of the best examples of this was when I was able to help an investor who lives in…
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REGULAR POLICY REVIEWS MAY REVEAL BIG SAVINGS

Posted on June 25, 2018 | Case Study

BY Ashley Brown   Recently I was contacted by 2 young professionals. They had been married for just over 5 years and had never been offered a review on their personal insurance with their insurance provider. After seeing an Event post on my Facebook page about the importance of a local agent reviewing your insurance…
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AFFORDABILITY PERCENTAGES WILL INCREASE FOR 2019

Posted on June 19, 2018 | News to Know

BY Conner INSURANCE   OVERVIEW On May 21, 2018, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Revenue Procedure 2018-34 to index the contribution percentages in 2019 for purposes of determining affordability of an employer’s plan under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For plan years beginning in 2019, employer-sponsored coverage will be considered affordable if the employee’s…
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Health Savings Account (HSA) Contribution Rules

Posted on June 19, 2018 | News to Know

BY Conner Insurance   HIGHLIGHTS CONTRIBUTION LIMITS CONTRIBUTION RULES • For 2018, $3,450 for individuals with self-only coverage and $6,900 for individuals with family coverage. • Individuals who are age 55 or older may make an additional $1,000 “catch-up” contribution. • For each month an individual is HSA-eligible, he or she may contribute one-twelfth of the…
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Drones hold promise to save lives and improve rural healthcare

Posted on June 18, 2018 | News to Know

BY Modern Healthcare   Things are looking up: drones could soon start delivering medications in medical deserts in the rural U.S. The Federal Aviation Administration approved 10 pilot programs for drone usage in May, including projects that specialize in medical deliveries in San Diego and North Carolina. Drones have been successfully used a number of…
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Americans’ health care costs rise again, now $28k per family

Posted on June 18, 2018 | News to Know

BY Katie Kuehner-Hebert   There is good news and bad news for the average American family’s health care costs, according to the 2018 Milliman Medical Index. The good news: The cost of health care for a typical American family of four receiving coverage from an employer-sponsored preferred provider plan will rise by just 4.5 percent this year, the eighth…
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In sudden reversal, Anthem and St. Vincent agree to include tiny hospitals in network

Posted on June 18, 2018 | News to Know

BY John Russell   In a surprising about-face, Indiana’s largest health insurer is telling members they can use St. Vincent’s small, freestanding hospitals without paying out-of-network penalties. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield confirmed Monday that it has reached an agreement with St. Vincent to include the small hospitals in its network. Just three months ago, Anthem told…
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