benefits

Posted June 13th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

On June 1, 2014, same-sex marriage became legal in the state of Illinois. As a result, we wanted to revisit marriage as a qualifying event for health insurance coverage and discuss how account-based health plans are impacted.

Posted April 15th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

The Obama administration announced last week that parts of the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) would be delayed until 2015. This announcement has created a lot of confusion in the market.

The SHOP will be a new health insurance marketplace to provide exchange-based coverage to small businesses with up to 50 employees in most states. The SHOP is still expected to be launched as planned in 2014, but one of its key components will be delayed until 2015.

Posted April 8th, 2013 in Producers

Last week the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released proposed regulations about the role of Navigators. The new guidance provides some clarification about the role of Navigators, but it has several producers questioning how they will be compensated for their services next year.

Navigators are organizations that will provide unbiased information to consumers about health insurance.

Posted March 7th, 2013 in Employers, Producers

Small employers able to provide simple, effective program with defined contribution strategy and online insurance marketplace.

InsureXSolutions® recently announced more small businesses in the Chicagoland area are looking to adopt a private health insurance exchange as an alternative to increasing healthcare costs. Through a defined contribution benefits strategy and the use of a private insurance exchange, businesses can now take control of their healthcare spending and offer a personalized insurance buying experience for employees.

Approximately 75 percent of Illinois employers have fewer than 50 employees, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. Of those employers, only a third currently offer group health coverage due to expensive premiums, participation requirements or other challenges that exist in today’s marketplace.

Posted January 10th, 2013 in Employers

Last week, President Obama signed the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) into law, which includes tax provisions that affect those who commute to work using mass transportation or vanpools.

Posted December 13th, 2012 in Producers

Just like a certain beloved movie from the ‘80s that used a DeLorean to take us to the future, we now have a vehicle that can be used today, in 2014 and well beyond – defined contribution health benefits.

Health insurance producers and consultants should educate their clients on the defined contribution benefits strategy now because this trend is not going away anytime soon. In fact, nearly 50% of employers “definitely or probably will” switch to defined contribution in 2013.

Posted November 13th, 2012 in Individuals

More and more, employers are starting to offer high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) in their benefits program. Correspondingly, the rate of employees enrolled in a HDHP has grown year-over-year. Even though this isn’t the standard health plan option you might be used to, here are four reasons to be thankful for your HDHP this enrollment season:

  1. Covers 100% - Just like a traditional health plan, basic preventive services such as vaccinations and wellness exams are covered at 100%! You can stay proactive with your health care and save money.
Posted November 6th, 2012 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

In their own words, politicians on either side of the fence agree that the middle-class is hurting.

“Middle-income families are being crushed.” – Mitt Romney

“The Middle Class has been buried.” – Joe Biden

A hot topic during the 2012 presidential election has been health care reform and the Affordable Care Act (ACA). American workers are paying more out of their pocket for health care expenses than ever before. No matter which party line you side on – everyone seems to agree that the financial burden carried by the middle class is disproportionate in one way or another.

Posted October 23rd, 2012 in Individuals, Employers

According to an estimate by Kaiser Health News, a couple retiring in 2012 will spend $240,000 on health care expenses. Statistics also indicate that a majority of employees (consumers) save virtually nothing on their own for retirement, other than through employer-sponsored plans (i.e., 401(k) plans).

There is an elephant in the room and people are starting to take notice. Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex), in a nod towards National Save for Retirement Week (a congressionally endorsed, national event that takes place from October 21 – 27, 2012) is featuring the capabilities of a health savings account (HSA) repurposed as a smart way to begin to save for retirement.

Posted October 16th, 2012 in Producers

According to a recent release by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Affordable Care Act will save the average person with traditional Medicare $5,000 through 2022.

Yesterday, millions of people in the U.S. became eligible to shop, compare and reexamine those Medicare plans. This combination of having the opportunity to save a sizeable amount of money during this limited time has lead to the phenomenon commonly known as the “annual enrollment period” or the “open enrollment period”, which sends millions of employees, friends, and family members into a shopping frenzy (this year lasting from October 15 – December 7, 2012).

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