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Archive for the ‘Group Health Insurance’ Category

Large employers stick with employee health plans, small businesses another story

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

Benefits Pro reports:

“Large employers continue to believe in the value of sponsored health benefits for employees, despite the options available to them under the Affordable Care Act. But small employers are increasingly choosing to pull out of the health benefits business.

That’s what a survey from the Employee Benefits Research Institute (EBRI) found when it examined the percentage of employers offering health insurance from 2008 to 2015. Using data from the Medical Expenditure Panel Survey — Insurance Component, EBRI reported that nearly 100 percent of the largest employers (those with 1,000 or more employees) have continued to offer health insurance through the ups and downs and gyrations of the past seven years.

 

A Two-Tiered Health Care System Is Coming Faster Than You Think

Wednesday, November 5th, 2014

Forbes reports:

“Get ready for two different health care systems. In one, patients will be able to schedule a doctor’s appointment in one or two days. In the other, patients will wait weeks or even months – with access problems similar to those in Canada. Patients who get health insurance in the new (Obamacare) exchanges will be in the lower tier. In fact, they may have even greater access problems than patients on Medicaid.

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Wal-Mart cuts health benefits for some part-timers

Friday, October 17th, 2014

Yahoo Finance reports:

“Wal-Mart Stores Inc. plans to eliminate health insurance coverage for some of its part-time U.S. employees in a move aimed at controlling rising health care costs of the nation’s largest private employer.

Wal-Mart told The Associated Press that starting Jan. 1, it will no longer offer health insurance to employees who work less than an average of 30 hours a week. The move affects 30,000 employees, or about 5 percent of Wal-Mart’s total part-time workforce, but comes after the company already had scaled back the number of part-time workers who were eligible for health insurance coverage since 2011.

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Employers not interested in PPACA exchanges

Friday, October 3rd, 2014

Benefits Pro reports:

“Nearly one in four employers say they may move their employees toprivate exchanges within the next few years, but virtually none of them are considering public exchanges under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, new analysis from consulting firm Towers Watson finds.

The firm’s Health Care Changes Ahead survey of 349 HR professionals at mid- and-large-sized companies found that 24 percent of those surveyed believe a private exchange will be a viable alternative for providing employee health benefits by 2016.

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It’s Time to Kick Employer-Sponsored Healthcare to the Curb

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Business Cheat Sheet reports:

“A great number of people in the United States have grown accustomed to having their employer pay for, or at least subsidize their healthcare costs. That usually takes the form of employer-provided health insurance plans, which have become a staple of most compensation packages for full-time employees that are working in positions that require even menial amounts of skill — and shutting out, for the most part, unskilled or low-wage workers. On the surface, it is a bit odd that we rely on our employers to pay for our health insurance. Yet, it’s become the norm, and one of the many reasons the U.S. healthcare system, as a whole, is so complicated and for lack of a better term, screwed up.

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Will employer-sponsored health insurance survive?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Forbes reports:

“Reports from consulting firms don’t normally make national news. Then again, most such reports don’t predict the downfall of the American health care system.

Earlier this month, the consulting group McKinsey projected that tens of millions of Americans could find themselves without the health coverage they now get through their employers.

McKinsey is only the latest organization to make a mockery of President Obama’s solemn promise to Americans that “[i]f you like your health care plan, you will be able to keep your health care plan. Period.”

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Employer-paid Individual Health Plans

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Flexible Benefit reports:

“The IRS and other agencies have issued three different sets of guidance making it clear that employers cannot give actively employed workers pre-tax dollars through a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) ,or any other type of arrangement, to purchase individual coverage on their own. Employers using this model will be subject to fines of up to $100 per employee per day.

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Health Care For $4: Are You Ready For Walmart To Be Your Doctor?

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

Forbes reports:

“Goodbye, doctor’s office. Hello, Walmart?

Based on Walmart’s latest moves, it’s not as unlikely as it sounds.

After years of “Will they or won’t they?” discussion, Walmart is making its long-awaited move into delivering primary care: The retailer has quietly opened a half-dozen primary care clinics across South Carolina and Texas, and plans to launch six more before January.

The clinics will be staffed by nurse practitioners, in a partnership with QuadMed.

Walmart watchers know that the company already has more than 100 “retail clinics” across its stores, a strategy it’s pursued for years. So why fuss over a handful of new clinics?

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Small Firms Hit by Big Changes in Health Coverage

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Businesses with fewer than 50 workers are exempt from the most stringent requirements for larger employers under the federal health-care law. But that doesn’t mean they’re off the hook entirely.

Smaller employers aren’t required under the Affordable Care Act to offer coverage for their full-time workers—as larger firms must by 2016 or face penalties, for instance. But many owners of small ventures and startup entrepreneurs are nonetheless facing big changes to how they obtain their own health coverage, as well as to the benefits they’re able to offer employees.

“It’s a myth that smaller firms aren’t being hit” by the health law, albeit in less obvious ways, says James Schutzer, president of the New York State Association of Health Underwriters, referring to employers with fewer than 50 workers.

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Shift to public exchanges could save employers $3 trillion

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Benefits Pro reports:

“The nation’s employers could save a whopping $3.25 trillion over the next decade by shifting most of their employees from workplace health plans to the public exchanges.

That’s according to an S&P Capital IQ report that notes government subsidies and individuals themselves would be left to pick up the tab.

The S&P 500 alone, it said, could save $700 billion through 2025 – potential savings that represent 4 percent of those companies’ market capitalization.

(more…)

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