The CheckPoint HR Blog

Administration Introduces Altered Rules to Insurers and Employers

Posted by Bill Faughnan on Wed, Nov 28, 2012

The Obama administration has released new health care regulations, which will prevent insurers from adjusting premiums based on pre-existing or chronic health conditions. Additionally, insurers cannot tell states what benefits must be included in health exchange plans. According to Kathleen Sebelius, Health and Human Services Secretary, one of the main goals of the health care law is to ensure that no one is discriminated against because of pre-existing conditions.

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Topics: Health Care Reform, health care, Altered Rules to Insurers and Employers, obamacare, PPACA, patient protection and affordable care act, healthcare reform, Health Care Law

Celebrating National Work & Family Month

Posted by Jennifer Camacho on Fri, Oct 12, 2012

During the month of October we celebrate National Work & Family Month (NWFM), which was established in 2003 by WorldatWork’s Alliance for Work-Life Progress. The purpose of NWFM is to encourage workplaces to reflect on the progress made on the journey to work-life effectiveness, celebrate and then raise the bar, moving on to even more pervasive progress. Additionally, the month of October serves as annual recognition of the importance of employer-sponsored work-life programs in attracting and retaining a talented workforce.

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Topics: health care, Benefits, wellness program, human resources, benefits administration, health benefits, Work-Life Fit, wellness, incentives

How to Save your Company on Health Care Costs – Steps to Take

Posted by Bill Faughnan on Tue, Oct 9, 2012

Odds are you're noticing that your company's health care policies are more expensive than ever.  It isn't your imagination – health insurance costs rose by nine percent over the course of 2011 and are expected to increase another 10.6 percent throughout 2012.  With those increases looming large on the horizon, you're probably scrambling to figure out how to save your company on health care costs.  Luckily, learning how to save your company on health care costs is easier than you may suspect.  There are plenty of different ways that you can cut costs while still delivering some real benefits to your employees.  In some cases, understanding how to save your company on health care costs and then doing it may be easier than you think.

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Topics: health care

Health Care Premiums Expected to Increase

Posted by Jennifer Camacho on Fri, Oct 5, 2012

Over the past year, employers in the U.S. saw the lowest health care premium rate increases in six years. However, recent findings from Aon Hewitt predict average health care premium increases could jump up to 6.3% nationwide. Additionally, the average health care costs per employee are expected to increase to $11,188, up from $10,522 in 2012 and $10,034 in 2011.

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Topics: employee benefits, health care, Benefits, wellness program, health care costs, health insurance premiums, health benefits, Consumer-directed health plans, Aon Hewitt findings

Open Enrollment is Around the Corner

Posted by Jennifer Camacho on Fri, Oct 5, 2012

Employees across the country can expect to receive 2013 open enrollment materials throughout the next few weeks. The open-enrollment period offers them the opportunity to make changes to the healthcare benefits they currently receive. Often times, mistakes made during the open enrollment period cost workers, and that wasted money can amount to up to $750 annually, according to a recent survey by Aflac. Many of these mistakes are made as employees attempt to sift through page after page of benefits materials that can be both confusing and overwhelming.

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Topics: Health Care Reform, health care, Benefits, open enrollment, Affordable Care Act

How to Save your Company on Health Care Costs – Slashing Costs

Posted by Bill Faughnan on Tue, Oct 2, 2012

Insurance isn't cheap, and it's probably never going to be.  The price of small business insurance is expected to rise by as much as 10.6 percent in 2012, and small to midsized businesses usually pay around eighteen percent more for insurance than larger companies.  That means you're probably already looking at how to save your company on health care costs.  The more you spend, the less profit you'll make, and figuring out how to save your company on health care costs as quickly as you can is important.  Luckily, figuring out how to save your company on health care costs isn't as difficult as you may think.  In fact, just looking at a few simple steps and issues may save you big.

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Topics: health care

Health Care Costs to Reach Double Digits

Posted by Bill Faughnan on Thu, Jul 5, 2012

A new study on medical costs conducted by Towers Watson found that health care costs are rising around the world at double-digit levels. Even with health care reform coming into full effect, these rising costs are expected to continue. According to findings from the survey, global employee medical benefits are estimated to rise by 9.6% this year. In the U.S., medical costs are expected to reach double-digit figures. In an attempt to curb these costs, many employers are implanting wellness programs. Some may eventually pass the costs on to employees through higher health care premiums.

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Topics: health care, health care costs, healthcare costs

Five Percent of Americans Responsible for Half of Nation’s Healthcare Spend

Posted by Bill Faughnan on Wed, Jan 18, 2012

In 2009, Americans spent $1.26 trillion on healthcare. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, that number rounds out to about $90,000 per person. A recent federal study found that a mere 1% of Americans accounted for 22% of healthcare costs in the same year. The report also found that around one in five healthcare consumers were among the top 1% of spenders for at least two years in a row. In other words, half of the US population spends very little on health care.

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Topics: Health Care Reform, employee benefits, health care, health care costs, health reform law

Health Insurance Plans for Mid-Sized Businesses – Reviewing Your Options

Posted by Bill Faughnan on Wed, Mar 30, 2011

Health insurance plans vary in their benefits and costs depending upon a number of factors.  One factor is the size of the business purchasing the plan.  In most cases, federal or state laws consider a small business to be one with fewer than fifty employees.  More than fifty, and it is considered either a mid-sized business or a large business, depending upon the state.  There are numerous excellent health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses, and choosing the right one involves reviewing your options and selecting the one that fits your needs the best.

One common choice, and usually the best option of all the health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses, is group health insurance.  Unlike other plans, these plans insure an entire group of people as a whole, spreading out the risks among them.  In most cases, individual health forms from each employee are not required although a set of health related questions may need to be filled out.  Since the premiums and risks are shared through the group, the premium payments are usually lower since the risks that the health insurance company incurs are less overall.  However, coverage can actually be denied if too many of your employees have serious medical conditions or high risk factors.

Another option is to look into shared risk health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses.  These insurance policies can help lower an employer's premium payments even more by allowing the employer to take on a percentage of the risks associated with the plan.  If a claim is filed, for example, the employer may have to cover a percentage of the costs before insurance coverage would kick in and pick up the remainder of the bill.  Again, coverage isn't guaranteed, but for a company looking to find cost-effective health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses, sharing the risks in an insurance plan may be the best option at the time.

Comparing health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses involves a few different things.  One important thing to look into is what kind of charge the plan involves.  The two basic types of fees involved in health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses are age based and composite.  With a composite fee, the premium charge per employee is a flat rate regardless of their age.  With age based health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses, the fees will vary depending upon the age of each individual employee.  This is important, especially for businesses with many older employees.

Employees may end up contributing to the premium payments involved with health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses.  While many companies pay all of the costs on their own, some split the cost with their employees, who have a percentage of their checks deducted each pay period to pay for their share of the insurance.  On rare occasions, health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses will require employees to pay all of the costs but enjoy a tax benefits and discounted rate.  Whatever option you select, there are plenty of health insurance plans for mid-sized businesses to choose from.  You're certain to find the right one for your company with just a little effort.

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Topics: employee benefits, health care, health care costs, benefits broker, Health Insurance Plans for Mid-Sized Businesses

BROKERS! Are you looking to increase revenues?

Posted by Shannon Cortina on Wed, Mar 23, 2011

In the new world of health care reform, many brokers are wondering how they can generate additional streams of revenue.  In addition to revenue concerns, many brokers realize that there is a need to find new ways of delivering services to their clients.

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Topics: Health Care Reform, health care, Benefits, insurance broker