30 June 2020
Last month’s Bostock decision ruled that Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act protects LGBTQ rights. This decision has a number of subtle impacts that employers need to be cognizant of, including compensation and by extension employer sponsored health plans.
26 May 2020
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) made it easier for employees to make mid-year changes to their health insurance coverage for 2020 during the Coronavirus pandemic. Notice 20-29 allows employers to amend their healthcare plans so employees can now make mid-year changes that would be in effect for the rest of the year. For instance, an employee who declined coverage could enroll in a plan, and current enrollees could change plans or add or drop family members. Prior to this notice,...
9 October 2018
With health care costs growing more than two times the rate of inflation consistently over the years, and employers growing weary of increasing deductibles and cost shares, an old idea has resurfaced for employers: Referenced Based Pricing (RBP) programs. Under Obamacare, the transparency of costs among providers has become more commonplace, thereby enabling these types of programs.
9 October 2018
According to UnitedHealthcare’s 2018 Consumer Sentiment Survey, 77% of respondents with health benefits said they felt prepared to select their health plan during the upcoming open enrollment. When looking at the different generations in the workforce, 81% of Baby Boomers felt prepared as well as 80% of Gen Xers. However, the Millennials reported feeling the least certain of the three generations with only 69% reporting that they are prepared.
18 September 2018
The results are in for ASE’s 2018 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey. A total of 215 organizations participated in the latest study, which examines the premiums, deductibles, and co-pays for employer-sponsored health plans across Michigan. Highlights from the survey are listed below:
14 August 2018
Employers that work on a calendar year budget are starting to think about budget planning for 2019. The cost of health insurance is a major concern for employers. Locally, Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan announces 2019 insurance increases in late October or the first part of November. If increases stay below 10%, employers may decide their level of benefits can stay the same another year. Higher than that, and co-pays and deductibles as well as insurance benefit packages get analyzed...
14 August 2018
Employer health care spending has grown from 6% of total wages in 1988 to more than 12% in 2018. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimate that this growth will continue, with national health spending projected to be 20% of the economy by 2026. Employers are seeking innovative approaches to keeping healthcare costs down.
17 July 2018
A lawsuit by 20 states was filed in federal court in Texas challenging the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in February. Texas argues that last year’s tax reform law, which stripped the ACA of the individual mandate, made the ACA unconstitutional. If the individual mandate is stripped away, the Department of Justice (DOJ), agreeing with Texas, argues that two other key parts of Obamacare should fall with it.
17 April 2018
As of January 2017, 52 health insurance providers reported 21.8 million HSA/HDHP enrollees, up from 20.2 million in 2016. This is according to a recently released survey from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) who also reported a 9.2% increase in enrollment in HSA/HDHP from 2016 to 2017 in an analysis of a constant sample of 45 health plans.
3 April 2018
A survey of articles on the effectiveness of dependent eligibility audits show employers, on average, find between 4-8% of current participants ineligible for their healthcare plan coverage. In some cases, ineligible dependents constituted for 15% of the dependents receiving health care benefits. The average cost per ineligible dependent to the employer is between $3,500 and $4,500 per year.
30 January 2018
Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the requirements of the ACA have profoundly impacted small employer plans (under 50 employees) by raising costs at a faster rate than large employer plans.
26 September 2017
As we approach the end of 2017 many employers will once again be looking at health care costs in anticipation of mitigating health plan premium increases.
29 August 2017
ASE recently released the results of our 2017 Healthcare Insurance Benefits Survey. 48% of Michigan employers surveyed have either implemented or plan to implement telemedicine services in 2017. This is a rising trend in healthcare that encompasses two-way video, email, smartphones, and other technology to make a virtual diagnosis.
27 June 2017
The Senate Bill for the repeal of the ACA was introduced Thursday, June 22nd. The bill is very similar to the House bill. However, both the House and Senate bills would likely lead to higher cost healthcare policies with reduced benefits. For example, both the House and Senate bills allow states to reduce the number of essential health benefits that policies would be required to cover, thus leading to a cap on costs on formerly essential benefits, such as maternity benefits.
6 June 2017
As many report, the ACA is suffering because of the lack of providers and funding. Actual plans marketed by the exchanges are getting more expensive and serve primarily as catastrophic insurance. Employers, driven by the limited qualified labor market, have to offer better healthcare options to employees due to attraction and retention efforts, but even those efforts have limitations as costs are rising for the employer.