5 Reasons Healthcare Costs Are on the Rise

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It’s not your imagination. Healthcare is expensive and costs continue to rise. According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, costs increased by almost one trillion dollars between 1996 and 2015. The rise in healthcare costs cannot be attributed exclusively to any one cause. Rather, there are a number of causes that, put together, are responsible for the rise. All of the following, plus more, have a role.

How to Combat the Rise in Healthcare Costs

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Healthcare costs in the U.S. are at an all-time high, and organizations and individuals are continually looking for ways to reduce the rising costs and maintain affordability in healthcare. With spending levels reaching unsustainable highs, there are ways that employees and employers can work together to reduce the overall healthcare liabilities. As individuals bemoan the reduction in their take-home pay due to healthcare costs and employers find themselves digging deep to support their employees, all parties are looking for options they can explore together.

Pharmacy Benefit Managers: A Brake on Rising Prescription Costs or a Cause of Them?

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In 2015, spending on prescription drugs grew 9%, faster than any other category of health care spending, according to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. The report cited increased use of new medicines, price increases for existing ones, and more spending on generic drugs as the reasons for this growth. Increasingly, though, observers of the health care system point to one player – the pharmacy benefit manager. PBMs are intermediaries, acting as go-betweens for insurance companies, self-insured employers, drug manufacturers and pharmacies. They can handle prescription claims administration for insurers and employers, facilitate mail-order drug delivery, market drugs…
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PTSD Claims a Growing Workers’ Comp Problem

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An emerging trend in workers’ compensation nationally is workers filing post-traumatic stress disorder claims from events that they experienced on the job. These events will typically be something traumatic like witnessing a violent event while on the job or the aftermath of a horrific accident – but not always. Most recently, the Connecticut Supreme Court held that a Federal Express Corp. driver diagnosed with PTSD in part due to his manager’s demands and stress of a really bad day is eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. In that case, William D. Hart vs. Federal Express Corp. et al., the court upheld…
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Metal Spectrum Plans Expected to Become the Norm

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One of the positive aspects of the Affordable Care Act is that it gives employers the chance to offer a wide range of plans that let workers pick the coverage that’s right for them. You can do this by offering “metallic spectrum plans,” each of which has different values and costs. Bronze, silver, gold and platinum plans are a way of serving a wide range of employee needs, budgets and concerns and reducing the potential of your healthiest employees buying more insurance than they may actually need. While these plans are staples in the public exchanges, they are also available…
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ACA Spurs Benefits Rethink among Employers

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Expected cost increases stemming from the Affordable Care Act are spurring employers to consider new approaches to benefits funding and administration. The increasingly complex benefits environment is also making employers rethink their benefits strategies, which may allow them to take advantage of new opportunities for benefits communication, funding and administration, according to the “Guardian Workplace Benefits Study,” released in August. Although many employers in the study emphasized the need for cost control, they also expressed a growing interest in raising their employees’ financial security and satisfaction with provided benefits. Only three in 10 workers surveyed said they felt financially secure….
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Same-sex Marriage Ruling and Your Employee Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages are valid and should be performed throughout the United States. While the ruling in the case of Obergefell vs.Hodges is about personal liberties, it also will have an effect on employers’ employee benefit plans – and you need to know how to respond. First, in its ruling the court did not touch on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. As a result, the decision does not require employers to treat the same-sex spouses of their employees the same as opposite-sex spouses with respect to the provision of health and welfare benefits….
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