May 14th, 2023
1 in 4 of today’s 20-year-olds will become disabled before they retire. Long term disability insurance is very important. If employees become unable to work, LTD provides cash payments(usually around 60% of income) to cover non-medical living expenses: housing, food, etc.
This chart provides a breakdown of US employees who have LTD coverage, broker down by income quartiles.
February 21st, 2023
A few interesting stats from the California Association of Health Plans :
-health plans spent 87 cents out of every health plan dollar, on medical care
-health plans picked up 92.6% of the tab of the 25 most costly prescription drugs
-Hospital care accounts for 31% of overall health care spending
January 24th, 2023
This is interesting: the NHS has tapped private industry managed care provider Centene(owner of Health Net and administrator for US Government programs medicare, medicaid, and TriCare) to administer medical practices in the UK, seemingly to gain operational and financial efficiencies:
November 16th, 2022
Health-related benefits continue to top the list in terms of importance in the 2022 SHRM Survey:
August 04th, 2022
Great vid from WSJ on how healthcare pricing functions and how the marketplace is changing:
July 08th, 2022
July 1, 2022 was a major milestone for healthcare pricing transparency. As of July 1, health insurers and self-insured employers must post on websites just about every price they’ve negotiated with providers for health care services, item by item. This is an important step for the free market healthcare system to thrive.
June 08th, 2022
Bezos, Cuban, and now Newsom?
The State of California is exploring becoming a drug manufacturer. If enacted, Newsom's program will join Mark Cuban's Cost Plus and Amazon Pharmacy as big money entrants into drug manufacturing and distribution markets. More competition usually drives down prices.
April 04th, 2022
Should Employers Force Workers to Take Time Off?
Here's a good article with arguments for both perspectives:
March 21st, 2022
Unlimited PTO has become a popular option for companies due to easy administration, end of employment cost efficiency, and attractiveness to potential new hires. Balancing effective use and preventing overuse are important concepts to consider:
February 07th, 2022
Pre-tax student loan repayments are becoming a larger part of the total benefits discussion. "Employers can provide up to $5,250 in student loan repayment benefits tax-free through 2025".
January 12th, 2022
Starting Saturday, private health insurers will be required to cover up to eight home Covid-19 tests per month for people on their plans. Americans will be able to either purchase home testing kits for free under their insurance or submit receipts for the tests for reimbursement, up to the monthly per-person limit.
January 04th, 2022
Some great ideas for a 2022 New Years Resolution:
December 03rd, 2021
I often get asked if dental insurance is worth it. I recommend that most employers offer dental insurance. Unlike medical, life, and disability insurances which provide financial protection to cover catastrophic health issues, dental provides a different type of benefit. In some ways it can be thought of as an employee perk to:
1. incentivize good oral health
2. streamline the tedious process of finding and utilizing dental care
3. provide good financial protection against the cost of dental care
Here's a solid video from CNBC on the topic:
November 11th, 2021
The IRS has released 2022 limits for HSA, HSA, etc.:
September 02nd, 2021
Big changes in the realm of healthcare pricing transparency coming to consumers effective January 1, 2022.
For healthcare services scheduled at least three business days in advance, providers must give the participant’s plan a good faith estimate of anticipated charges.
The era of "buy now, we'll tell you how much it will cost later" is hopefully coming to an end.
August 23rd, 2021
Some employers may consider a health premium surcharge for unvaccinated employees:
April 21st, 2021
All Individuals, Insured Groups, and Self-Funded Accounts insured through a Blue Cross Blue Shield affiliate from February 7, 2008, through October 16, 2020 will be receiving a settlement notice with option to file a claim and participate in the pending class action lawsuit related to antitrust law violations.
April 12th, 2021
The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”) includes a 100% COBRA premium subsidy for periods of coverage occurring between April 1 and September 30, 2021, for certain eligible individuals. Details on how this will be administered have recently been published:
March 12th, 2021
The American Rescue Act included a provision where the US taxpayers will pay 100% of the premium for COBRA participants from April 2021 through September 2021. This applies to employees who were laid off or hours were reduced so they lost health coverage. Exactly how the reimbursement will work for employers and COBRA administrators is TBD.
February 18th, 2021
The government has so far declined to provide Covid-19 liability protection for businesses. The first lawsuit against an employer is now being heard:
January 25th, 2021
CA AB 744 took effect on 1/1/2021 and aims to expand access to telehealth. Employees need to be made aware of telehealth benefits, particularly when it comes to behavioral/mental health:
January 05th, 2021
The powerhouse Amazon-Berkshire-JPMorgan healthcare joint venture Haven has disbanding. The moral of the story might be that even with unparalleled financial resources and marketplace leverage to disrupt the current system, healthcare is complex and regional in nature and there is no silver bullet:
January 03rd, 2021
The No Surprises Act, signed into law on December 27, 2020 will provide additional consumer protections for out-of-network emergency care and to out-of-network care provided at in-network facilities starting in 2021:
November 02nd, 2020
Big changes for CA employers with between 5-49 employees. Beginning in January, an expanded California leave law will require employers with as few as five employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid medical and family leave each year.
November 02nd, 2020
Some employees prefer and thrive in a work from home environment, but many do not prefer it and are being forced to due to Covid. Here's a good list of WFH struggles that companies may want to address: