United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Peter Freska

Benefits Advisor at The LBL Group
A UBA Partner Firm

Recent Posts

Healthcare Cost Reduction: Community Paramedicine as a New Primary Care Delivery Model

Posted by: Peter Freska    Nov 17, 2015 12:00:00 PM

I recently read an article on what some say is the conventional wisdom of healthcare costs in the United States which, as a percent of gross domestic product, are higher than most other countries. The article works to demonstrate that the reason for the higher than average cost and the lack of “better” health outcomes in light of significantly higher spending is attributable to non-healthcare issues such as lack of access, especially for the poor. With the drive of healthcare reform to make sure the U.S. population is insured and address the shortage of primary care physicians increasing as high as 31,000 (“Physician Supply and Demand Through 2025: Key Findings,” Association of American Medical Colleges, April 1, 2015), where will people receive their primary care, and at what cost? What if there were a more efficient and cost effective way to deliver care to populations that lack access or don’t have the ability to easily access care.

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Topics: health care costs, Peter Freska, paramedicine, emergency medicine, paramedics, community paramedicine, EMT

The Vision in Health Plan Wellness

Posted by: Peter Freska    Sep 3, 2015 12:00:00 PM

As one might think, employee wellness programs are still top of mind for many employers. As companies continue to struggle with the rising costs in today’s health care market, they are constantly looking for that silver bullet to kill trends. The most current 2014 UBA Health Plan Survey shows the national average cost increase at 5.6% (2015 data will soon be released). So what is the answer to these ever-increasing costs? Is there a silver bullet? While there may not be a silver bullet, there may be a silver lining if employers look inside their own benefits offerings.

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Are Electronic Plan Documents ACA-Compliant?

Posted by: Peter Freska    Jul 1, 2015 12:35:21 PM

There is always something to be concerned about. Please read on.

Many have talked about the options for posting compliance documents online. It is interesting to note that posting documents on a company’s intranet is not enough. Especially in light of the new court decision (Thomas v. CIGNA Group Insurance, E.D.N.Y. (2013)), the topic is even more important. Historically, companies have mailed out hard copies of their compliance packets, Summary Plan Descriptions (SPDs), Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC), and Summary of Material Modifications (SMM). If this packet contains the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) State Exchange notification, it also needs to go to new hires within 14 days.

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Topics: PPACA Affordable Care Act, summary of benefits and coverage, Peter Freska, The LBL Group, Summary of Material Modifications, compliance documents, Summary Plan Description

Employers Procrastinating?

Posted by: Peter Freska    Jun 18, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Employee Benefit News published an article titled, “Employers procrastinating on ACA recordkeeping compliance.” It is an interesting read, as it refers to a recent survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers in which “Only 10% of some 480 employers in 36 industries responding to a recent poll have implemented an in-house or outsourced solution to comply with Affordable Care Act reporting requirements.” This is an alarming number, as employers may be subject to significant penalties for non-compliance.

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Topics: PPACA, UBA Partner Firms, PPACA Affordable Care Act, PPACA reporting, employer-shared responsibility reporting, The LBL Group

SCOTUS and the Future of U.S. Health Care

Posted by: Peter Freska    Apr 14, 2015 12:00:00 PM

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), commonly referred to as “Obamacare,” was signed into law with the intention of decreasing the number of uninsured Americans and reducing the overall costs of health care in the United States. In order to increase the number of U.S. citizens covered, a number of mechanisms including mandates, subsidies, and tax credits became effective beginning January 1, 2014. The federal health care law also contains many reforms aimed at improving health care outcomes and streamlining the delivery of care. While this reform may be appealing, there are many concerns as to its viability, beginning with the increased number of people covered to effective reduction of health care costs. In the latest arguments for or against PPACA, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) heard arguments on the legality of who is able to provide subsidies to those who qualify for subsidies. This lawsuit contends that subsidies are illegal unless a state has set up its own health insurance exchange. The charge is based on wording in the law, which states that subsidies are for health coverage obtained on an “Exchange established by the State under section 1311.”

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Topics: health care reform, premium subsidies, Medicaid, PPACA Affordable Care Act, U.S. Supreme Court, Medicare, single-payer system, Obamacare

The State of Healthcare Insurance – The Top Five Highest and Lowest Costs of Health Insurance

Posted by: Peter Freska    Feb 17, 2015 1:06:07 PM

With health care expenditures in the United States fast approaching 17.7% of gross domestic product (GDP), the cost of health care is a valid concern. Additionally, as employers of all sizes reel in the wake of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the question they still beg to question is: How much does health care cost?

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Topics: health care reform, PPACA, 2014 Health Plan Survey, cost of health care

The Impact of PPACA - Changing Times

Posted by: Peter Freska    Jan 22, 2015 1:00:00 PM

There is still a divided public: “The public remains deeply divided. As of last month, more Americans viewed the law unfavorably (46%) than favorably (37%)—a shift from four years earlier, when respondents favored it 42% to 40%, according to a Kaiser Family Foundation poll … ’The fundamental impetus for the law was to lower the number of uninsured, and it has clearly done that,’ said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president at the Kaiser Family Foundation. ’But simply getting people insured doesn’t mean health care is affordable.’”  1

 

There is the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) dismantling drive in Washington, D.C.: “(Bloomberg) – Republicans, newly in charge of the House and Senate, begin their campaign to dismantle PPACA with a vote this week to ease the law’s requirement that large employers give health insurance to full-time workers.”  2

 

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Topics: PPACA Affordable Care Act, Peter Freska

Top Health Care Statistics

Posted by: Peter Freska    Oct 30, 2014 11:01:00 AM

By: Peter Freska, MPH, CEBS, Benefits Advisor
The LBL Group
A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: health plan survey, UBA, health care, Statistics, Peter Freska, Becker's Hospital Review, 100 Healthcare Statistics to Know

Waste in Health Care: Does Wastefulness Contribute to Excess Cost and Poor Quality?

Posted by: Peter Freska    Mar 28, 2014 12:37:00 PM

Peter Freska, CEBS
Benefits Advisor
The LBL Group, A UBA Partner Firm

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Topics: benefit communication, benefit consultants, benefit management, compliance with health care reform, employee health, group health insurance, healthcare consumerism, health plan compliance, health reimbursement account, insurance solutions, medical plan, HRA administration

Individual Insurance – What are my choices (California)?

Posted by: Peter Freska    Jan 8, 2014 12:59:00 PM

Peter Freska, CEBS
Benefits Advisor
The LBL Group, A UBA Partner Firm

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