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Now Hiring, With Attractive New Perk: Free College Degree

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019

The Wall Street Journal reports:

“Some of America’s largest companies are proposing that a good job can lead to a free college education, reversing the norm that requires workers to get the degree before launching a career.

Walt Disney Co., Discover Financial Services, and Yum Brands Inc.’s Taco Bell are among the high-profile employers sending front-line workers back to school, often paying the cost of tuition, fees, books and other expenses upfront and in full. The companies say the benefits of a content and potentially better-trained staff outweigh the costs.

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How much more will health care cost your company in 2018?

Friday, August 18th, 2017

Crain’s Chicago Business reports:

“Around this time of year, many human resources executives and brokers are putting the finishing touches on health insurance plans they’ll offer to employees in the fall. They face tough questions: Will rising costs be swallowed by the company? Or will the bitter pill be passed down to employees?

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Employers gear up for next fight after Cadillac tax

Wednesday, March 8th, 2017

Modern Helthcare.com reports:

“Employer and business groups are shifting their lobbying efforts from repealing the Affordable Care Act’s unpopular “Cadillac” tax to fighting GOP proposals to chip away at the tax break on employer-provided health insurance.

Capping the tax break, they say, would cause employers to offer skimpier benefits, and some would stop offering coverage altogether. That would erode the employer-sponsored health insurance market.

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Only one insurer will offer PPO plan on state Obamacare exchange

Monday, October 31st, 2016

The Chicago Tribune reports:

“Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois will be the only insurer offering PPO health insurance plans on the state’s Obamacare exchange next year, according to information released Friday by the state Department of Insurance.

That’s down from five insurers that offered individual PPO plans on the exchange this year. Many consumers prefer PPO health plans because, unlike HMO plans, they allow patients to see specialist doctors without a referral and see physicians who are out-of-network, albeit at higher costs.

The reduced choices were not unexpected, following the exit of several insurers from Illinois’ exchange. Aetna, its Coventry brand, UnitedHealthcare, UnitedHealthcare subsidiary Harken Health and Land of Lincoln all announced this year they wouldn’t offer individual plans on the exchange next year. Many insurers have cited financial struggles as their reason for abandoning the exchange.

The information was released Friday along with final rates for insurance plans on the exchange, which on average, are largely the same as rates submitted to the federal government in August. Rates will increase by an average of 44 percent for the lowest-priced bronze plans, 45 percent for the lowest-priced silver plans and 55 percent for the lowest-priced gold plans.

The information released Friday, however, also shows for the first time which insurers will offer what types of plans in each county on the exchange next year:

• In Cook County, insurer Celtic will offer an HMO plan, Cigna will offer an HMO and Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer an HMO and a PPO.

• In Lake and McHenry counties, Blue Cross and Blue Shield will be the only on-exchange insurer offering HMO and PPO plans.

• In Kane and DuPage counties, Cigna will offer an HMO, Celtic will offer an HMO to part of the area and Blue Cross and Blue Shield will offer an HMO and PPO.

The federal government will release specific premiums, deductibles and information about networks by Nov. 1, when consumers can begin shopping for insurance on the exchange.

This year, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois stopped offering its broadest PPO plan for individuals on the exchange, instead offering a smaller PPO network that didn’t include popular academic medical centers at Northwestern University and the University of Chicago or hospital chain NorthShore University HealthSystem.

“We will continue to work with state and federal regulators and legislators to ensure a stable and sustainable insurance marketplace and to improve the quality and cost of care for all of our members,” Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois said in a statement Friday.

Illinois is not unique in how few insurers will offer on-exchange PPOs next year, said Katherine Hempstead, a senior adviser at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Options will be more plentiful for Illinois residents who buy individual insurance off the exchange, but people who buy off-exchange plans aren’t eligible for federal subsidies that offset insurance costs. About 75 percent of Illinois residents who buy insurance on the exchange now get those subsidies, which will allow those consumers to pay less than $75 a month next year, even with the rate increase, Jonathan Gold, a spokesman for U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, said in a statement.

Five insurers will offer off-exchange PPO plans next year in different parts of the state. In all, 14 insurers will offer plans off the exchange. Consumers typically can buy off-exchange insurance through brokers or through insurance companies directly.

Oftentimes, insurers are more inclined to offer plans off the exchange because they may believe they’ll get healthier customers, said Larry Levitt, a senior vice president for special initiatives at the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation.

Most consumers, he said, are most concerned about making sure insurance plans’ networks include their doctors and that their monthly premiums aren’t too high. “It means consumers have to shop around carefully, as options are changing,” he said.

Big news for Chicago-area Obamacare insurance exchange: Cigna seeks to join

Tuesday, July 26th, 2016

The Chicago Tribune reports:

“One of the nation’s largest health insurance companies plans to enter the Obamacare marketplace in the Chicago area for the first time, bringing new competition as other insurers exit or go out of business.

The Tribune has confirmed that Cigna, based in Bloomfield, Conn., has filed plans to sell health policies to individuals and families who purchase their own coverage in the individual market. If the plans are approved by Illinois regulators, Cigna will start selling policies Nov. 1, when enrollment for 2017 Obamacare coverage opens.

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IRS Grants Extension for 6055 and 6056 Reporting

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016

According to United Healthcare, Broker Connection Special Edition:

“On Dec. 28, 2015, the IRS announced that it is granting an automatic extension for the 2015 information returns required of insurers, employers and certain other providers of Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) under Section 6055 and 6056 of the Internal Revenue Code (IRC).

Coverage providers that need more time now have until March 31 to get Form 1095 to individuals and until June 30 to electronically file with the IRS. For providers not filing electronically, the deadline is May 31, 2016. (more…)

Chicago, Lincoln Park: Health Insurance

Monday, November 2nd, 2015
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https://payload24.cargocollective.com/1/5/170224/2794420/LincolnPark.jpg

We specialize in helping Lincoln Park individuals, families, and businesses sign up and manage their Health Insurance.

With the many changes to health insurance, you may be wondering what the right choices are for you and your family. Every year brings new options and plan designs, and we can answer all of your questions. The Eriksen Insurance Group will work with you to find you the best coverage, at the best price, for your situation.

We help our clients with the following:

  • Signing up for a new policy on or off the exchange
  • Quoting and comparing new plans and prices
  • Explaining renewal options
  • Managing your current policy
  • Reviewing doctor and hospital networks
  • Determining if you qualify for a subsidy
  • Navigating and signing up on Healthcare.gov
  • Help businesses manage their health insurance and benefits plans

For individuals and families, the next annual open enrollment period for securing medical insurance starts November 1st 2015. If you have a recent life changing event, you may qualify for a special enrollment period at any time. Please call us at (847) 426-2788 for help determining your enrollment options.

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There is no cost to work with The Eriksen Insurance Group; we get paid by the insurance companies to help you. For over 35 years, The Eriksen Insurance Group has helped many people find the best health insurance for their personal needs.

Over the next 3 to 5 years the health insurance world will be in a state of flux. Even after your enrollment we will be here to answer all your questions and help you make the right decisions. Inside or outside of the Exchange, company plan or personal policy; whatever your situation, we have the knowledge to help you. There is a wealth of information for you at our insurance reform blog. We are also proud of our 5 Star Google Places reviews. Thank you for visiting our website we look forward to working with you.

Thanks again,

Robert G. Eriksen, President
Personal Health Insurance Broker

Phone: (847) 426-2788
Email: Bob@EriksenInsurance.com

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