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26 07, 2019

Update: UnitedHealth Care Postpones Rollout of New Association Health Plans in California

By |July 26th, 2019 |Categories: ACA, Association Health Plans, Covered California, Small Business Articles, Small Group Health Insurance|

Less than two weeks ago, I wrote a blog post that predicted that fireworks would hit California’s small group health insurance market with UHC’s new Association Health Plans.   Well,  sparks flew.  Yesterday, UnitedHealth Care announced that because of “regulatory inquiries over the past couple of weeks” UHC has suspended [...]

12 04, 2019

Why Kaiser Permanente Small Group Benefits and Rates Continue to Lead the Field in California, 2019

By |April 12th, 2019 |Categories: ACA, Health Care Costs, Health Insurance Reform, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles, Small Group Health Insurance|

On Wednesday, I was fortunate to be included in a round table discussion with the senior leadership of Kaiser Permanente's small group sales and account management team. To encourage discussion, Kaiser limited participation to a few key brokers. (2019 Kaiser Key Broker Engagement Luncheon, Pasadena, California. Third from [...]

25 03, 2019

Group Health Insurance Cost Trends and Benchmark Comparisons

By |March 25th, 2019 |Categories: Benchmarking, Health Care Costs, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles, Small Group Health Insurance, Trends|

Many employers want to know why medical insurance rates continue to rise and whether they're paying too much compared to other businesses. Two recently released reports address these questions:Medical Cost Trend: Behind the numbers 2019, is prepared by Price Waterhouse Coopers (PwC)'s Health Research Institute and it projects medical costs [...]

5 10, 2016

California Small Business Medical Insurance 2016 4th Qtr. Renewals

By |October 5th, 2016 |Categories: Changes in Medical Care, Health Insurance Reform, Small Business Articles, Small Group Health Insurance|

Experts estimate that 50 to 70 percent of the small businesses in California that offer employee medical insurance will renew their plans in December 2016.  Many California small business medical insurance companies have begun to release their renewal rates for December 2016 and for many employers the renewal rates look very [...]

25 11, 2014

Group Health Insurance Rates Increase for 2015

By |November 25th, 2014 |Categories: ACA, Health Insurance Reform, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles|

Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that large employers estimate that the cost of group health insurance will increase about 5% in 2015. I was quoted in the last two paragraphs of the article, talking about the 2015 rate increases for California small businesses. We've seen rates increase from a few percent to twenty percent depending on the characteristics of the employees.While there are winners and losers among California employers; we have been able to change our clients to different insurance companies and different plans so that in most cases they won't have any increase and many of our clients will pay less for group health insurance in 2015 than they did in 2014.

7 11, 2014

For the Third Time DOL & IRS say an Employer Can NOT reimburse employees for individual health insurance plans

By |November 7th, 2014 |Categories: (SHOP) Covered California Small Business Articles, ACA, Health Insurance Reform, Individual health insurance vs group health insurance, Individual Medical Insurance Articles, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles|

Today the U.S. Department of Labor released yet another notice/guidance/ "FAQ" instructing employers that "an employer health care arrangement cannot be integrated with individual market policies to satisfy the market reforms."  Obstinate vendors continue to push their high cost TPA services and claim that an employer can cancel a [...]

8 10, 2014

Vivity: the new hope for health care

By |October 8th, 2014 |Categories: ACA, Changes in Medical Care, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles|

Right before my eyes I saw the top executives from the top hospitals with the top executive from the top insurance company pledge to offer high quality medical care at lower cost. They described how they have aligned incentives for everyone to provide top patient care. If they can do that cost-effectively, they will share in the savings. If not, they will collectively share in the loss...This is a game-changer for health insurance.

5 10, 2014

Group Health Insurance vs Individual Coverage: Compare After-Tax Cost, Provider Networks & Plan Benefits

By |October 5th, 2014 |Categories: ACA, Covered California, Health Insurance Reform, Individual health insurance vs group health insurance, Individual Medical Insurance Articles, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles|

Perhaps a company could give employees a salary bonus or "taxable discretionary wellness stipend" so that employees can buy their own individual medical coverage. If you’re considering a salary bonus or "wellness stipend" for employees to purchase their own individual medical insurance you should consider the following...Tax and worker’s comp savings are THE major reasons that companies sponsor group health insurance plans rather than offering a taxable stipend or salary bonus...A salary bonus or taxable wellness stipend for health insurance is extremely tax inefficient and forces employees to purchase inferior health insurance plans in the individual market.

15 08, 2014

Should a company reimburse employees’ INDIVIDUAL health insurance cost rather than sponsor a GROUP medical plan?

By |August 15th, 2014 |Categories: ACA, Covered California, Health Benefit Exchange, Health Insurance Reform, Individual Medical Insurance Articles, Large Group Medical Insurance Articles, Small Business Articles|

With the high cost of health insurance many companies are considering alternative financing arrangements to group health plans.   The Affordable Care Act (i.e., ACA, Obama Care, Health Care Reform) created exchanges to help individuals purchase their own coverage.  Also, the ACA forbids insurance companies from asking questions about preexisting [...]

15 07, 2014

Newly Signed Law, SB 1446, Will Allow California Small Businesses to Keep their 2013 Medical Insurance Plan until December 2015

By |July 15th, 2014 |Categories: (SHOP) Covered California Small Business Articles, ACA, Health Insurance Reform, Small Business Articles|

On July 7, 2014 Governor Brown signed SB 1446 into law. This legislation will have a significant impact on the health insurance options for many small businesses in California.   Estimates are that up to 80 percent of small businesses in California “early renewed” their group health insurance plan in [...]