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Tag >> health insurance
Nov 02

CFOs targeting benefits for cuts

Posted by Stephen Taub in stock optionshealth insuranceGrant ThorntonCashCareers/Managementbonusesbenefits

Stephen Taub

It looks like traditional employee benefits are in the cross-hairs of cost conscious finance execs.

According to a new survey of chief financial officers and senior comptrollers conducted by Grant Thornton LLP, 30 percent are planning to reduce health care benefits, 23 percent are planning on reducing bonuses and 18 percent are prepared to reduce stock options/equity based compensation.

Sep 29

Health care premium hikes to hit 5-year high

Posted by Stephen Taub in premiumshewitt Associatesheatlh carehealth insuranceCashCareers/Management

Stephen Taub

Employers should expect to see their 2011 health care premiums to increase at their highest levels in five years, according to an analysis by Hewitt Associates.

The consulting firm projects an 8.8 percent average premium increase for employers, compared to 6.9 percent in 2010 and 6.0 percent in 2009.

Aug 31

Questions swirl around new state health insurance exchanges

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in healthcarehealth insurancehealth care reformbenefits

Jeremy Smerd

California last week became the first state to pass legislation creating a health insurance exchange as mandated under the new federal health reform law. Some states, like New York, have only begun to pay lip service toward implementing health reform, while others, like Missouri, are still fighting the federal law's legality.

But the legislation is nonetheless expected to serve as a model if it is signed into law as expected.

Aug 26

End of Cobra subsidy could mean higher costs

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in health insurancebenefits

Jeremy Smerd

Employers generally do not like the COBRA program that allows laid-off workers to stay on their company's health plan. The problem is that the program is so expensive that only the sickest workers whose health care costs are higher than what they pay in premiums enroll.

The subsidy in the federal stimulus plan, which paid for 65 percent of the cost of a person's premium, was expected to change that by making it affordable for healthy workers. The subsidy can be used by workers who were laid-off before the end of May for up to 15 months.

Aug 19

How health reform could reduce the federal deficit

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in health insurancehealth care reformgovernment finance

Jeremy Smerd

Last year, Medicare was predicted to run out of money by 2017. Now, Medicare is predicted to have enough money to last another 12 years. What changed? The answer is health reform.

At least that's the answer given in the Medicare Trustee's report issued August 5. The trustees oversee both Social Security and Medicare. The report states that health reform will save $575 billion over the next decade. That's because health reform raises taxes on high-income earners and eventually raises taxes on high-cost health benefits. The report also notes that savings are expected to come by reducing the number of uninsured hospital patients.

Aug 17

Apologies could make health costs go down.

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in health insurancehealth care reform

Jeremy Smerd

The University of Michigan Health System recently asked itself this question: what happens when a hospital admits it caused a medical mistake, takes responsibility and offers compensation to patients who have been harmed? Do patients sue or do they settle?

For employers, this is not just a matter of legal theory or even a question of whether you think tort reform and capping damages on lawsuits is the best way to bring malpractice insurance down.

Aug 12

HSAs complicated by health reform, tax issues

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in health insurancehealth care reformconsumers

Jeremy Smerd

Earlier this week, I wrote about how more employers looking toward consumer-driven plans with health savings accounts to save money should make sure they are also helping employees get the health care they need.

Employers that want to offer these plans during their upcoming open-enrollment period should also consider the impact health reform will have.

Aug 10

Employers must do more to get employees to opt for higher deductibles

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in health insurancehealth carehealth and wellness programsconsumersbenefits

Jeremy Smerd

Employers are heading into "open enrollment" season when companies decide what kinds of health plans to offer to offer employees. More companies are including health plans with higher deductibles.

Though these plans have been around for nearly a decade, many employers and employees alike have little understanding of them and their impact on costs, a new analysis from the Employee Benefits Research Institute shows.

Jul 01

Supremes rule against employers

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in Supreme Courthealth insurancehealth care reformhealth carebenefits

Jeremy Smerd

The Supreme Court this week rejected a challenge by employers to San Francisco's universal healthcare program. The justices denied an appeal from the Golden Gate Restaurant Association of a lower court ruling that upheld the program's requirement that employers help pay the bill or give their workers health coverage.

Jun 22

Employers worry about grandfathered plans

Posted by Jeremy Smerd in health insurancehealth care reformbenefits

Jeremy Smerd

Republican Senator Orrin Hatch made good on his promise to try to kill
health reform. Last week he introduced a bill that would remove the
requirement that employers provide health insurance and that
individuals buy it-even though in 1993 he introduced a bill that would
have required individuals to purchase health insurance.

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