WHAT'S IN THE NEWS?

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The Human Side of Ongoing Engagement

Posted on July 18, 2019 | News to Know

BY BEN CONNER Health insurance should be designed to solve problems and unlock new business opportunities, both for employers and employees—regardless of whether everyone thinks about it this way. On the employer side, health insurance should be cost-effective and protect the company’s most valuable resource—its people. In turn, this should improve retention rates by strengthening…
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Health Insurance Results Matter, And You Should Demand Them

Posted on July 10, 2019 | News to Know

BY RYAN SPENCER My two-year-old daughter has a stockpile of toys adorned with flashing lights, buttons, and speakers. When a toy inevitably breaks or runs out of battery, she casts it aside. Like many of us, she only wants to play with the toys that light up the most.  In the health insurance industry, we…
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Cancer Tops List of High-Cost Insurance Claims for Self-Insured Employers

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY Katie Kuehner-Hebert   Considering that more than a third of Americans will be diagnosed with cancer at some point in their lifetime, and injectable drugs for cancer are among the most expensive partly due to lengthy treatments, it’s no surprise that cancer continues to be the costliest stop-loss claim for self-insured employers, according to the 2019 Sun…
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Report: Health Care Price Variation Costs $18 Billion a Year

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY Scott Wooldridge   U.S. consumers could save more than $18 billion a year if providers stopped overpricing their diagnostic and testing services, according to a new report from UnitedHealth Group (UHG). The insurance giant said it found prices can vary significantly for common tests such as MRI scans and echocardiograms. “This price variation leads to gross overspending for…
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How to Reduce Costs Without Changing Your Benefits Plan

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY Jim Blachek   Employers often operate under the misconception that getting a better benefits plan means getting a new benefits plan. While big changes are sometimes necessary for big improvements, some business owners may shy away from looking at new opportunities for their plan because they don’t want to get rid of their current plan…
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5 Misconceptions Employers Have About Their Benefits Plans

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY Jim Blachek   Traditional benefits plans have changed so little over the years that many business owners don’t even realize that changing their plan is possible. Stagnant, overpriced benefits plans can cause employers to develop misconceptions about how to make their plan more efficient, resulting in uneducated or even unhappy employees and benefits plans with wasted…
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Remote Working Becoming The Rule, Not Exception

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY Joel Kranc   Working remotely is increasing in numbers and popularity. A new study from Condeco Software, The Modern Workplace 2019: People, places & technology, shows that the U.S. and Australia are essentially tied (45 percent and 43 percent respectively) for having the second-most companies allowing remote work. “The research clearly shows that businesses are…
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Trump Expected to Sign Executive Order on Health Care Transparency

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY Jack Craver   President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order aimed at requiring greater disclosure of prices in the health care sector. The Wall Street Journal reports that sources in the administration say the directive could come as early as next week. It would direct federal agencies to demand price disclosures from health insurers and…
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HSA/HDHP Limits Increase for 2020

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY CONNER INSURANCE   OVERVIEW On May 28, 2019, the IRS released Revenue Procedure 2019-25 to announce the inflation-adjusted limits for health savings accounts (HSAs) and high deductible health plans (HDHPs) for 2020. These limits include: The maximum HSA contribution limit; The minimum deductible amount for HDHPs; and The maximum out-of-pocket expense limit for HDHPs….
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New Bipartisan Bill Aimed at Reducing Health Care Costs Proposed

Posted on June 27, 2019 | News to Know

BY CONNER INSURANCE On Thursday, May 23, 2019, the Senate Health Committee proposed a bipartisan bill called the Lower Health Care Costs Act. This bill sets out to address surprise medical billing, reduce the cost of prescription drugs and the overall cost of delivering health care, and improve transparency. The proposed bill is the latest…
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Health Insurance that’s Right for You: Finding an Affordable Plan that Works

Posted on June 4, 2019 | News to Know

BY BEN CONNER When you build and evolve your business strategy, you look for innovation and you strive to secure competitive advantages. You know that to protect your business and to position it to grow, each choice you make within that business needs to well-considered. It doesn’t make sense, then, to buy any sort of…
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The Discount Fallacy: Finding a Better Way to Afford Health Insurance

Posted on May 28, 2019 | News to Know

BY BEN CONNER As business owners, we expect insurance to be expensive. Each year, we battle with our brokers to keep the costs as low as possible, but premiums still increase between 5% and sometimes 20%. This leaves us in the tough spot of trying to protect the stability of the business without passing expensive…
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DOJ Supports Federal Court Ruling Invalidating The ACA

Posted on April 1, 2019 | News to Know

BY CONNER INSURANCE   OVERVIEW On Dec. 14, 2018, a federal judge ruled in Texas v. Azar that the entire Affordable Care Act (ACA) is invalid due to the elimination of the individual mandate penalty in 2019. In response, on March 25, 2019, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a letter with the Fifth…
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Goodbye group benefits. Hello personalized pay

Posted on April 1, 2019 | News to Know

BY Bob Wesselkamper   In the past, it was typical for a company to provide all employees with access to the same group benefits — regardless of their age, demographics or education level. From health insurance to retirement plans and paid time off, these uniform benefit packages were designed to meet the needs of the…
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4 Health Care Expenses Increasing Faster Than Drug Costs

Posted on April 1, 2019 | News to Know

BY Allison Bell   Durable medical equipment, home health care, doctors and hospitals could do more to drive up U.S. health spending this year than prescription drug costs, according to a team of actuaries at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). The CMS team is predicting that overall U.S. national health expenditures (NHE)…
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