The Impact of Wellness Programs on Health Care Costs

It’s no secret: health care costs are on the rise. According to the Commonwealth Fund, we can fault most of the costs associated with providing medical care for the rise in health insurance costs. To combat this growth, the Federal government, via the Affordable Care Act (ACA), has dedicated resources to increase the preventive and routine care to keep patients out of the hospital.  But will these incentives actually work?  Will wellness programs positively impact overall healthcare costs?  Or will the costs of healthcare be shifted onto the employers and…

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Is an Administrative Services Only Plan Right for Your Firm?

If you’ve ever braved the world of insurance quotes, you’ve probably run across the term Administrative Services Only (ASO) plans. Maybe you’ve heard about ASOs, but never knew what it entailed and if it was appropriate for your small business or organization. Under an ASO arrangement, an employer self-insures the benefits it pays out, but uses an outside company to deal with claims processing and paying providers. Simply put, an employer pays an insurance company or Third Party Administrator (TPA) to process claims based on a fee per person enrolled…

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Health care reforms will place limits on costs paid by employees

Health Care Reforms Small Business Health Insurance

Workers may no longer need to fear continuing spikes in out of pocket costs. In the pre-health care reforms environment, it had become a significant trend among small businesses to repeatedly hike deductibles and other costs that their workers were required to pay out of pocket in order to ensure that they would be able to continue to offer medical insurance in as coverage prices continue to rise. Now, the Affordable Care Act will limit the amount of cost that employers will be able to shift to workers. The federal health…

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Health insurance group plans are 97 percent more expensive than in 2002

Cost of health insurance rates

The price of medical coverage has been on a rapid climb throughout the last decade. A new national business survey has released its results this week, and it has shown that the cost of family health insurance through workplace plans has increased another 4 percent this year, while wages rose by only 1.7 percent. The survey was conducted by the Kaiser Family Foundation/Health Research & Educational Trust. The gap between the coverage sponsored by employers, and the salaries paid to the employees is considered even more significant when the trend…

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Indiana Health insurance may change the way smoking is factored into rates

Health Insurance for Smokers

Employers may be required to charge higher rates for plans covering smokers. Some employers in Indiana have already made the choice to charge higher rates for health insurance plans covering employees who smoke, but labor leaders are cautioning that this could lead to a trend where there is legislation against a larger number of health habits. The debate could impact the way that group rates are calculated within the state. The statewide ban on smoking has been into effect for several months, but there is now a hope among some…

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Things you might not know about group health insurance

Though most people feel that group health insurance – such as the plans offered by many employers – are highly beneficial, it should be noted that they were not all created equal, and that there are many surprising things that consumers can learn about those policies that might change their opinions about their value. Consider the following often unknown issues regarding group health insurance: • Some group health plans don’t provide pregnancy coverage – as a result of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, the majority of health insurance plans…

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Employees look to cancer insurance to fill the gap left by employers’ high deductible health coverage

Employers in California, as well as across the country, are attempting to cut the costs… associated with the skyrocketing medical insurance premiums by choosing higher deductible health coverage that shifts some of the expense to the employees. In response, many of those employees are looking to supplemental health plans like cancer insurance as a way to fill in the gaps that are being left behind by that employer sponsored insurance. Though these efforts were not very common as recently as two years ago, they are increasingly becoming the norm. That…

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The increased popularity of health plans with high deductibles are causing workers to pay more

As a growing number of companies are seeking to be able to continue to afford to provide their workers with health insurance, plans with high deductibles are becoming increasingly popular and are requiring those employees to pay more while receiving less. According to the Employee Benefit Research Institute’s survey data from December, 2011, 27.7 million people of working age had a health insurance plan with a deductible of a minimum of $1,000 for individuals and a minimum of $2,000 for families. According to the report on the survey, the percentage…

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Gallup survey shows that employer provided health insurance is disappearing

A new survey from the Gallup Organization, a consultation and polling company, shows that employer sponsored health insurance is on the decline. The survey began on January 1 of 2011 and came to its conclusion on December 31 of the same year. Declines in insurance coverage are a persistent trend in the U.S. despite claims from the federal government. The Obama administration insists that the Affordable Care Act has brought coverage levels to an all time high. While this may be true for young adults, this is not the case…

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Vermont to begin working toward a health insurance exchange by the end of the year

Vermont lawmakers are expected to determine how the state will build its own health insurance exchange system by the end of this year. The state has been sluggish in its efforts to build an exchange due to some uncertainty and lack of guidance from the federal government. The Department of Health and Human Services, the agency that oversees the exchange effort throughout the country, has granted states with enough flexibility to establish an exchange in a way they see fit. Vermont’s slow pace may put the exchange effort at risk…

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