United Benefit Advisors Insight and Analysis Blog

Employers and Employees Teeter on Healthcare Cost and Coverage Tightrope

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Nov 21, 2016 12:08:52 PM

Over the past few years, we have seen the cost of health care steadily increase – a trend supported by the latest data from the 2016 UBA Health Plan Survey. During the recession, employers implemented health plans with higher copays, higher deductibles, or offered multiple plans with a variety of deductibles and pushed the cost of the lower deductible plans onto employees in an attempt to keep their costs for offering coverage at the same rate or less.

Read More

Topics: consumer-driven health plan, Elizabeth Kay, UBA Health Plan Survey, health care cost, benefits cost control, group medical benefits

Shining a Light on HIPAA Compliance for Health and Welfare Plans

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Jun 7, 2016 5:43:27 PM

With the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the federal government became much more involved in what had always been a heavily regulated, but predominately private industry. What many people have forgotten is that the ACA was not the first legislation to be passed that involved private and employer-sponsored health and welfare plans.

Read More

Topics: compliance, HIPAA, health plan compliance, Elizabeth Kay, PHI, health and welfare plans, protected health information, business associate agreement

Negotiating over COBRA Coverage – Use EXTREME CAUTION!

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Dec 15, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Proceed with cautionHave you ever overheard the new employee in the break room, bragging about how good their health insurance was with their previous employer, and how much less expensive it was than the coverage they are currently being offered?

You may think ”If it was so good, then why give it up?” There are always a number of factors that can lead to someone making a job change, but what happens when COBRA becomes a part of the negotiating process when they are working out the terms of employment with the new company?

Read More

Topics: employee benefits, COBRA, ERISA, Elizabeth Kay, COBRA continuation coverage, health care benefits

New Drugs for Some ... Will They Ultimately Cost Everyone an Arm and a Leg?

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Aug 20, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Advancements in science and technology can be absolutely amazing. The types of treatments that are available now are light years ahead of where we were even 10 years ago. For example, there are some new anti-viral drugs that have become available. One in particular that is for treating Hepatitis C has been very successful. It can actually cure patients of Hepatitis C, in just weeks for some cases.

So why might these drugs not be available to those who could really use them?

Read More

Topics: health care costs, health care reform, Elizabeth Kay, AEIS Advisors, Affordable Care Act, multi-tier pharmacy benefits, prescription drug plans, prescription drug cost

The Key to Reducing Health Care Costs – Have We Found It?

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    May 19, 2015 12:00:00 PM

Self-funding is a very hot topic these days for a number of reasons. For small group employers offering a self-funded plan this means they can charge a composite premium rate based on the employee population versus the community rates that are based on each individual enrollee’s age. For all employer sizes this also means that they are not subject to all of the taxes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), which alone can translate into a savings of 3% to 4% of their premiums.

Read More

Topics: wellness, health care costs, self-funding, self funded health plans, consumer-driven health plan, Elizabeth Kay, Cigna Collaborative Care Program, claims data

Will Health Insurance Soon Become Health Memberships?

Posted by: Elizabeth Kay    Feb 10, 2015 12:00:00 PM

With the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), we saw a number of hospitals and provider groups being bought and merged with larger provider groups. This was done for two reasons. One, in part to make sure that they were able to establish more buying power, or bargaining chips to bring to the contract negotiating table. Two, with less competition, they have more control over how much they can charge for services.

Read More

Topics: health insurance, PPACA Affordable Care Act, Elizabeth Kay, health membership, AEIS Advisors