- Posted on October 4, 2016
- by Admin
- Posted on September 20, 2016
- by Admin
Health insurance costs rise as the cost of healthcare products and services rise. A reasonable assertion – yet only partly true. Another major contributing factor to the burdensome costs of most health insurance coverages is that the coverage provided doesn’t match the needs of the insured. If the coverage is insufficient, then out of pocket expenses can make the overall costs unwieldy. By the same token, excessive coverage for healthier individuals inflates health insurance rates beyond their necessary bounds. In addition to all of this exists a massive amount of confusion, misdirection, and red tape.
The cornerstone of healthcare cost and quality reform is transparency. It’s a paradigm shift that those in power – government, health insurers, and providers – would like to avoid at any cost. The current system is built upon the foundation of confusing and unclear delivery of goods and services. Insurers negotiate deals with providers to set prices for services and then administer that design through an overly complicated billing/coding system to facilitate payment. It sounds convenient, but in reality, the system makes large sums of money for its architects and managers at the cost of the American healthcare consumer.
Widespread internet access and a preponderance of resources therein have improved the ability of the average consumer to comparison shop service providers in their area. The next step is providing consumers with access to information on quality and cost in advance of treatment so they can determine overall value. An excellent example is Lasik eye surgery. The surgery isn’t covered by insurance and the cost is disclosed upfront and paid for directly by the consumer. Ten years ago, Lasik cost $5000 per eye. Today, it costs $500 per eye and quality has improved dramatically.
Legislators, health insurance companies and providers often claim that healthcare is complicated and making cost and quality information available to consumers will only confuse them. This is fallacious and duplicitous. While healthcare products and services are quite nuanced, assessing their cost and quality is a core component of providing them. Uneducated consumers, by definition, will suffer suboptimal care. Transparent and consumer-centric healthcare is the way forward. To learn more, ask us.
- Posted on September 6, 2016
- by Admin
1. Level Funded Premium. Our plans pay 10% commission on the total premium. We call these plans “return of premium” plans. I -you don’t use all your claims dollars, you get an end of year refund. But, here’s the deal: find the least expensive HDHP option. Employers can’t get a lower plan cost than bronze.
2. Group GAP plans. Millions of Seniors purchase Medigap plans to fill in holes in Medicare A&B. Employer groups can offer the same strategy. Offer workers several Group “GAP” plans to fill in holes in HDHPs. Learn more about GAP coverage: http://cheltenbenefitsgroup.com/medigap-rest-us/
3. Smartphone Video Benefits App. Let your employees “watch” 60 second video clips of all their benefits 24/7! HR personnel and employees love this service, and your competition doesn’t offer it. Samples available at http://cheltenbenefitsgroup.com/communications/.
4. Stryde Cost Recovery Services. Let’s face it, at some point, we won’t be able to find any more health plan savings. You may be there already and yet your client won’t listen. They want savings. Look beyond health costs for your answer. You can now offer a cost audit service that recovers taxes, overpaid utilities, uncovers federal credits and more. Just show them our 60 second calculator and they will marvel at how much money you have recovered for them. To learn more, contact us.
- Posted on August 9, 2016
- by Admin
- Grow your book of business
- Offer more adaptable coverages
- Make waves with novel and effective new solutions
- Incorporate improved benefits communications strategies
- Posted on August 3, 2016
- by Admin
- Posted on July 22, 2016
- by Admin
The solution to boring, old-fashioned employee communications booklets has finally arrived. Chelten Benefits Group offers the creation and hosting of short online video clips to present critical plan information to your employees when and where they want to access it (anywhere and anytime).
For just a modest monthly subscription fee, we’ll customize these benefits videos, publish them to your own online site, and maintain and monitor it for you and your client. In fact, the service is complimentary for agents already writing business through us. Video clips include topics such as:
- Premium Saver (Group GAP) Explained
- How to Use Your Health Plan
- Doctor’s Office visit copays
- RX copays
- Emergency room Copays
- Urgent Center Copays
- Dental plan description
- Short Term Disability
- Long term Disability
Additionally, we insert links with enrollment and claim forms, FAQ’s, employee handbooks, etc. plus whatever information you want your employees to have easily available.
Imagine having this service available to all your clients, maximizing plan value and efficacy. This simple tool can change the way you sell insurance and build client relationships. To learn more, contact us.
- Posted on July 7, 2016
- by Admin
With healthcare costs seemingly spiraling out of control, employers need to find new and improved solutions to providing their employees with coverage options. The challenges are multifold. These include the rising costs of procedures, especially among specialists, the increasing cost and quantity of prescription medications being dispensed, the advent of newer and more refined technological aids, patient inclination to seek out rapid care, and more. But what solutions is your agency offering to this cycle of excess spending?
Chelten Benefits Group offers several novel solutions that can help to bring clients’ budgets under control while still serving the interests of their employees. These include:
1. Level-funding company healthcare costs.
2. Provide a proactive wellness initiative.
3. Use a flexible contribution arrangement (FSA).
4. Use deductible exposure mitigation vehicles (HRAs).
Ask your clients if they understand these strategies and how they can impact an organization – many will say no! Staying ahead of the curve in the competitive world of employee benefits means continually seeking out new and improved solutions to timeless problems. Contact us to learn more.
- Posted on June 21, 2016
- by Admin
GAP plans (Group Supplemental Health plans) are used to fill in holes in HDHPs that most employers offer today – similar to “Medigap” supplemental insurance plans used by Seniors. But these plans are available to anyone, and are considered excepted benefits under ACA guidelines. Offering these alternative or additional coverages can bring additional business to your agency and drive increased commissions. There are three GAP strategies that make a compelling case to clients and prospects:
“Insured HRA” strategy. Save money and duplicate or improve existing coverage. Combining a Bronze plan with GAP plan(s) can offer savings and even offer employees better coverages.
“Cadillac Tax” strategy. ACA Bronze plan base coverage, then allow employees to “pick and purchase” the right amount of GAP coverage.
“Private Exchange” strategy. One Bronze plan base plan with multiple “buy up” GAP options. Instead of offering several major medical plans, simply give employees a strong network PPO Bronze plan and offer them several GAP plan options to “pick and purchase” the levels of GAP coverage they desire.
To learn more about how gap strategies can grow your book of business and drive increased commissions, contact us.
- Posted on June 14, 2016
- by Admin
Growing enrollment is promoting improved economies of scale with regard to consumer driven health plans, further emphasizing the inevitable decline of more traditional programs like high-contribution HSAs and subsidized standard PPOs. The decrease in HSA contributions has emboldened employers in their support for a number of targeted health products. These include accident coverage, critical illness, and hospital indemnity.
While similar to elective coverages, CDHPs differ in some ways. A key component of streamlining administrative burden lies in moving the products from an individual platform to a group chassis. Further, the new indemnities offer reduced coverage to accompany the higher deductibles, continuing to promote reduced burden-sharing for the majority of Americans who need minimal healthcare services.
Lower policy values reduce costs for employers and employees, encouraging responsible use of resources by reducing or eliminating coverage for services like emergency room visits. In addition, the simplified plan designs and lower face values have eliminated the need for underwriting, so enrollment is much simpler and requires less administrative work on the part of the employer.
Increasing price stability is making CDHPs more sustainable than HSA contributions in the long-term. As long as these plans continue to comply with ACA regulations, employer-funded indemnity products will likely continue to grow in popularity and efficiency. In light of this rapidly shifting benefits landscape, it’s crucial for HR directors and benefits advisors to work in concert to maintain compliance and optimize offerings for employees. To learn more, contact Chelten Benefits.
- Posted on June 7, 2016
- by Admin
Media portrayals of the “current” state of the US healthcare system rely on outdated information, sensationalism, fear-tactics, vagueness, and circumstantial evidence. The information dispensed in this manner can even have a substantive impact on policy initiatives in congress, further exacerbating the misunderstood nature of challenges in our healthcare and benefits climate. Fortunately, current and significantly more reliable data is available.
The healthcare market has cycled in and out of growth phases over the last 25 years – an indication of a market that neither bleeds (as did the airline industry in that period) nor exhaustively extorts (as in the case of pharmaceutical companies). At present the industry is expanding and maturing to meet new, unique market demands.
In these first several years of PPACA implementation, both profits and risks for insurance companies have increased. The paradigm is similar for employers – offering more attractive or flexible benefits make for a more compelling environment in which to recruit talent. But at what cost? The key for consumers, employers, and news personnel is to be mindful of the shifting nature of our healthcare system, and to seek out the most current and balanced information available.
Employers should work in tandem with their insurance advisers to better understand the big picture of healthcare reform and the how it relates to their business. After this critical step, employers must then find effective ways to communicate the costs and benefits available to their employees – and help them make informed decisions. Businesses can no longer wait and see what happens, reacting to healthcare changes instead of anticipating them. Proactive and educated decision-making must be promoted at all levels to develop and sustain workplaces and societies that live well.