Employee Benefits Report – July 2017

The American Health Care Act: A Bill in Transition

association health plans
Wondering how the changes to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect you? You’ll have to be patient. The American Health Care Act (AHCA) bill is still in flux. Possible enhancements or repercussions are only educated guesses at this time. Read on for details.

Voluntary Benefits: The Upside of Giving Employees a Choice

2Many employers rely on a robust benefit package to attract and retain employees. The challenge is determining which benefits will appeal to a diverse employee base.
Read on for details.

It’s the Law: Benefits You Must Provide Employees

3Employers have a lot of options for increasing the appeal of their benefits plans. But there are also certain minimums to comply with — benefits required by law. Read on for details.

Want an Edge Attracting and Keeping Millennials? Consider Offering Pet Insurance

The Nationwide insurance company estimates that 65 percent of Americans own at least one pet. Of those pet owners, the American Pet Products Association estimates 24 percent are millennials.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – June 2017

Do Some Homework and Retire Early

benefits gapMany Americans dream of retiring early. If that’s your dream, too, you must do some homework and make preparations.
Read on for details.
 
 

How Technology Saves You Money

vision insuranceThere’s no indication that medical costs will be decreasing anytime soon. PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), the second largest professional service firm in the world, released a study indicating that medical costs could increase more than six percent this year, with larger increases coming in the future.
Read on for details.

Lower Your Life Insurance Premiums — By Taking Better Care of Yourself

life insuranceWhen you purchase a life insurance policy, the amount you’ll pay in premiums is determined by factors you control.
Read on for details.
 
 

Track Your Medical Expenses, Save on Taxes

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows you to deduct medical expenses on your tax return — potentially saving you a significant amount in taxes. To get these savings, you must keep detailed records. Therefore, it’s never too soon to start planning for the April 17, 2018, tax deadline.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – May 2017

Big Data and Technical Advances Are Helping Employers Reduce Health Insurance Costs

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At a time when the annual price tag for health insurance is topping $10,000 per employee, cognitive health systems, telemedicine or telehealth and other medical advances are helping to lower costs. Read on for details.

How to Control Rising Drug Costs

2Spending on prescription drugs in the United States accounted for nearly 17 percent of total healthcare spending — with a price tag of $457 billion in 2015. And that’s only going up, unless serious change occurs.
Read on for details.

Many Americans ‘Not Worried Enough’ About Retirement

3More than half of working age Americans risk facing a lower standard of living during retirement, a new study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College found. Read on for details.
 
 
 

New Long-Term Care Insurance Policies Only Cost Seniors $100-$150 a Month

The cost of long-term care insurance continues to rise. A couple in their 60s purchasing new coverage could expect to pay 6-9 percent more compared to a year ago, according to the annual industry analysis of prices.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – April 2017

What Replacing the Affordable Care Act Means — Pros and Cons

benefits gapWith the Trump Administration and Republican-controlled Congress working to replace the controversial Affordable Care Act (ACA) by 2018, there are plenty of opinions as to whether it’s a good thing or not.
Read on for details.

Don’t Be Unprepared for an Accident Waiting to Happen

vision insuranceAccidents happen, so you need to take precautions to minimize the financial consequences. Accidental Death and Dismemberment Insurance (AD&D) is a low-cost rider you can attach to a life insurance policy. It pays benefits if the policyholder loses a body part or function (limbs, speech, eyesight or hearing) or suffers from permanent paralysis. It also pays beneficiaries both the AD&D benefit and the life insurance benefit if an accident causes death.
Read on for details.

Does Cancer Insurance Make Sense for You and Your Family?

life insuranceOne in two men in the United States have a chance of developing some type of cancer; women one in three, according to the American Cancer Society’s Facts and Figures 2015 report.
Read on for details.

 

Is a Variable Annuity With an Income Rider a Good Way to Save?

Those who have reached the contribution limit for their 401(k) plans and other tax-deferred investments often turn to a variable annuity with an income rider as a savings vehicle.
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – March 2017

House Votes to Clear Way for Repeal of Obamacare

association health plansIn a 227-198 vote, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a resolution in January that paves the way for the repeal of the Affordable Care Act. President Trump and Republicans, who are working on a replacement plan, say Obamacare was a failure, but House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi argues it diminished the rate of growth in healthcare costs. Read on for details.

How Wellness Programs Improve the Bottom Line

2Workplace wellness programs reduce medical costs, absenteeism and health-related productivity losses, yet many employers find it difficult to measure the success of their programs.
Read on for details.
 

Trends in Workplace Benefits in 2017

3As more employers face increasing health insurance costs, many are looking at their total benefit package to find the best benefits to invest their dollars in. Read on for details.
 
 

Congress Reexamines Repeal of Cadillac Tax

Four members of Congress have reintroduced bipartisan legislation that would amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health coverage.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – February 2017

Insured and Broke: The Problem of Underinsurance

benefits gapUnfortunately, having health insurance doesn’t mean you’ll be able to afford the out-of-pocket expenses not covered by your insurer.
Read on for details.
 
 

How to Be Financially Fit

vision insuranceTwenty-eight percent of participants in a 2015 LIMRA Insurance Barometer Study have no confidence in their ability to make important financial decisions. If that sounds familiar, a financial wellness program can help.
Read on for details.
 

Long-Term Care Insurance Carriers Face Challenges

life insuranceMany Americans have bought long-term care insurance to pay for nursing home care in later years. Unfortunately, many insurers underestimated the cost of providing long-term care benefits. As a result, many have increased premiums dramatically, and many stopped offering coverage altogether.
Read on for details.

Saving Money on Prescriptions While on Medicare

Original Medicare, the federal health insurance program for seniors, does not cover prescription drugs. If you want coverage, you can buy a Medicare prescription drug (Medicare Part D) plan through a private insurer. Medicare Advantage policyholders typically have prescription drug benefits.

Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – January 2017

Donald Trump and Obamacare

association health plansBefore his surprise election, President-Elect Donald Trump said he would repeal the Affordable Care Act “on Day One.” However, the health care law championed by Barack Obama could prove more difficult to dismantle than Trump had imagined. Read on for details.

Disability Income Insurance Protects Your Most Valuable Asset

2Most people don’t plan for a debilitating accident or illness during their working years. But three in 10 workers entering the work force today will become disabled before retiring. And only five percent of disabilities are work-related—meaning 95 percent of people with disabilities will not qualify for workers’ compensation benefits.
Read on for details.

Health Insurance Premiums Soar over Last Decade

3Over the last decade, average annual premiums workers have paid for family healthcare coverage have shot up 78 percent, while employer contributions rose 51 percent, a new report found. Read on for details.
 

IRS Extends Due Date for Health Coverage Forms

On November 18, 2016, the IRS extended the 2017 due date for providing 2016 health coverage information forms to individuals. Insurers, self-insuring employers, other coverage providers, and applicable large employers now have until March 2, 2017 to provide Forms 1095-B or 1095-C to individuals. This is a 30-day extension from the original due date of January 31.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – December 2016

Life Insurance Companies’ Dilemma — To Insure or Not to Insure Marijuana Users

benefits gapTechnically, it is a federal crime to grow, distribute or possess marijuana, or “cannabis,” its botanical name. And that can have implications for your insurance.
Read on for details.
 
 

What You Need to Know Before Purchasing Critical Illness Insurance

vision insuranceAdvances in emergency treatments and medical care make it more likely you will survive a critical illness. The question is whether you can survive the cost of recuperation.
Read on for details.
 

Coverage for Pre-existing Conditions – When You Can’t Be Denied Health Insurance

life insuranceThe Affordable Care Act (ACA) includes a provision that prohibits health insurers from denying anyone coverage based on a pre-existing condition. But that provision does not apply to all types of coverage.
Read on for details.
 

Life Insurance as a Gift? It’s Not as Crazy as You Think

During the holidays, it can be difficult to think of just the right gift for everyone on your list. Wouldn’t it be great if you could give a loved one a present that would provide financial security for years to come?
Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – November 2016

Is Your Health Plan Ready for 2017?

association health plansAffordable Care Act compliance, along with benefits cost management and employee wellness programs, are emerging as the top issues affecting small business health plans. Read on for details.
 
 

Wellness Programs Work…If Employees Participate

2Getting employees to participate is the key to making wellness programs effective. Here are some suggestions. Read on for details.
 
 
 

Consistency Creates Big 401(k) Nest Eggs

3A new study looked at 401(k) account balances of workers from 2010 to 2014. Participants who consistently contributed had balances almost twice the average account balance of other plan participants. Read on for details.
 
 

Voluntary Benefits Help Reduce Financial Stress

Employers are increasingly offering voluntary benefits as a way to improve financial well-being, new research found.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – October 2016

How to Cope with Health Insurance Cost Increases

benefits gapWhen you’re preparing your personal budget for 2017, you might want to factor in extra money for health insurance premiums.
Read on for details.

Personal Accident Policies Essential for Income Replacement

vision insuranceIf you have only health insurance and life insurance, you might have a serious coverage gap.
Read on for details.

Life Insurance Benefits Beyond the Obvious – Part II: How to Make Riders Work for You

life insuranceIn our last issue, we focused on how you can get a portion of your life insurance policy’s death benefits before you pass away. You can use these funds for serious illness, financial difficulties or charitable giving.
Read on for details.

Presidential Candidates’ Views on Healthcare

Healthcare is one of the key issues in the upcoming presidential race, according to a recent Pew Research Poll. Here’s how the candidates for the two major parties —Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump — stand on the issue. Read on for details.

Employee Benefits Report – September 2016

How Self-Funded Employers Can Manage the Top 10 Catastrophic Claims

association health plansA new report by Sun Life Financial U.S. offers insights for self-funded employers about critical factors affecting their medical costs. The Top Ten Catastrophic Claims Conditions report compiles the costliest medical conditions covered by Sun Life stop-loss insurance from 2012-15 and explores trends to help brokers and self-funded employers manage their risks.Read on for details.

Private Exchanges Offer Brokers Ways to Help Employers Navigate Changes

2At a time when changing healthcare legislation is creating uncertainty for businesses, private exchanges can help employers stay financially afloat in the choppy seas of benefit changes.Read on for details.
 
 

401ks Leave Most Americans Unprepared for Retirement

3The rise of 401(k) plans has left most Americans unprepared for retirement. The average family only has $5,000 saved in a retirement account, according to a new report by the Economic Policy Institute.Read on for details.
 

A New Trend: Runners Get Discounts on Life Insurance

Perhaps you’ve seen the ad on Facebook or elsewhere, noting runners have a “35 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality” and may be eligible for life insurance discounts.
Read on for details.

Life & Health Insurance Advisor – August 2016

Get Your Money’s Worth by Using Your Preventive Benefits

benefits gapDid you know your health plan covers a variety of preventive services at no out-of-pocket cost to you? You may be leaving money on the table if you’re not taking advantage!
Read on for details.
 

Annuities Protect Retirees from Volatile Markets

vision insuranceConcerned about the effect a volatile stock market could have on your retirement? Consider an annuity.
Read on for details.
 
 
 

Republicans’ Alternative to Obamacare

life insuranceSix years after the Democrat-supported Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Republicans submitted their recommendations for changing the law.
Read on for details.
 

Insuring Your College Student

The consumer protections under the Affordable Care Act also apply to student health plans, with several adjustments due to the unique nature of these plans:
Read on for details.