Archive for Health Care Plans’ Category

With Below Average Cost, Increasing Enrollment, CDHPs Have Big Impact | Houston Benefit Advisors
Dec

11

2017

With Below Average Cost, Increasing Enrollment, CDHPs Have Big Impact | Houston Benefit Advisors

When most experts think of group healthcare plans, Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plans largely come to mind—though higher cost, they dominate the market in terms of plan distribution and employee enrollment. But Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs) have made surprising gains. Despite slight cost increases, CDHP costs are still below average and prevalence and enrollment in these plans continues to grow in most regions—a main reason…

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Nov

24

2017

UBA Survey: Weary Families Get a Break While Singles See Out-of-Pocket Cost Increases | Houston Benefit Advisors

While the rate impact of the regulatory environment plays out, one thing is clear from the 2017 UBA Health Plan Survey: employers continue to shift a greater share of expenses to employees through out-of-pocket cost increases. While this is just one of 7 mega trends uncovered in the survey, it is particularly interesting this year because singles were hit more heavily than families as compared…

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Latest IRS ACA Round Up (Including 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments) | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

20

2017

Latest IRS ACA Round Up (Including 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments) | Houston Benefit Advisors

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the instructions for Forms 1094/1095 for the 2017 tax year, announced PCORI fees for 2017-18, and announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2018. The IRS provided additional guidance on leave-based donation programs’ tax treatment and released an information letter on COBRA and Medicare. Here’s a recap of these actions for your reference. IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for 2018 The IRS…

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How to Make the Most Out of Your FSA at Year-End | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

13

2017

How to Make the Most Out of Your FSA at Year-End | Houston Benefit Advisors

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to act on the money sitting in your Flexible Spending/Savings Account (FSA). Unlike a Health Savings Account or HSA, pre-taxed funds contributed to an FSA are lost at the end of the year if an employee doesn’t use them, and an employer doesn’t adopt a carryover policy.  It’s to your advantage to review the various ways you…

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PPOs Dominate Despite Savings with HMOs and CDHPs | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

10

2017

PPOs Dominate Despite Savings with HMOs and CDHPs | Houston Benefit Advisors

  The findings of our 2017 Health Plan Survey show a continuation of steady trends and some surprises. It’s no surprise, however, that costs continue to rise. The average annual health plan cost per employee for all plan types is $9,934, an increase from 2016, when the average cost was $9,727. There are significant cost differences when you look at the data by plan type….

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2017 Health Plan Survey Shows Sharp Rise in Group Healthcare Premiums | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

3

2017

2017 Health Plan Survey Shows Sharp Rise in Group Healthcare Premiums | Houston Benefit Advisors

I’m happy to report that this year’s UBA Health Plan survey achieved a milestone. For the first time, we surpassed 20,000 health plans entered—20,099 health plans to be exact, which were sponsored by 11,221 employers. What we were able to determine from all this data was that a tumultuous Presidential election likely encouraged many employers to stay the course and make only minor increases and…

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Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA
Sep

15

2017

Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA

We recently revealed how competitive small business health plans are when compared to national averages—and even how they are doing a better job of containing costs. But the UBA Health Plan Survey also uncovers two challenges these groups face in its new special report: “Small Businesses Keeping Pace with Nationwide Health Trends”. 1. Small businesses are passing nearly 6.6 percent more of the costs for…

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What Employers Need to Know about the Senate Proposed Healthcare Bill | Houston Benefit Advisors
Jun

28

2017

What Employers Need to Know about the Senate Proposed Healthcare Bill | Houston Benefit Advisors

On June 22, 2017, the United States Senate released a “Discussion Draft” of the “Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017” (BCRA), which would substitute the House’s House Resolution 1628, a reconciliation bill aimed at “repealing and replacing” the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The House bill was titled the “American Health Care Act of 2017” (AHCA). Employers with group health plans should continue…

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May

3

2017

Why Private Exchanges Haven’t Taken Off As Predicted | Houston Benefit Advisors

While the health care affordability crisis has become so significant, questions still linger—will private exchanges become a viable solution for employers and payers, and will they will continue to grow? Back in 2015, Accenture estimated that 40 million people would be enrolled in private exchange programs by 2018; the way we see this model’s growth today doesn’t speak to that. So, what is preventing them…

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Feb

3

2017

Who Are You Benchmarking Your Health Plan Against? | Houston Benefit Advisors

Many employers benchmark their health plan against carrier provided national data. While that is a good place to start, regional cost averages vary, making it essential to benchmark both nationally and regionally—as well as state by state. For example, a significant difference exists between the cost to insure an employee in the Northeast versus the Central U.S.—plans in the Northeast continue to cost the most…

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