CARES Act Helps Coronavirus-hit Employers, Workers

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act stimulus law to help American workers and businesses weather the outbreak has a number of provisions that employers and their workers need to know about and can take advantage of during this crisis. The CARES Act includes provision for: Extended unemployment benefits. Requiring health plans to cover COVID-19-related costs. Small Business Administration (SBA) disaster loans. Loans for large corporations. Parts of the CARES Act will likely benefit your organization and employees in some way. Here’s what you need to know: Extended unemployment The CARES Act extends unemployment insurance benefits…
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New Rules Aim for Hospital, Insurer Transparency

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

The Trump administration on Nov. 15 announced two rules that would require more transparency in hospital pricing and health insurance out-of-pocket costs for enrollees. The final rule on hospital pricing will require hospitals to publish their standard fees both on-demand and online starting Jan. 1, 2021, as well as the rates they negotiate with insurers. The administration also proposed rules that would require health insurers to provide their enrollees instant, online access to an estimate of their out-of-pocket costs for various services. The latter are just proposed rules and will have to go through a comment period before final rules…
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As Drug Prices Skyrocket, This Top 10 List Will Shock You

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

It’s no secret that the cost of pharmaceuticals is going through the roof. You’ve heard the stories of price-gouging by some companies that have jacked up prices thousands of percent. Drug costs are starting to weigh heavily on the cost of care, in turn driving up health insurance premiums, which individuals, employees and employers are all feeling. The cost of some medications is so extreme that a single dose may far surpass the total premium paid for coverage. Also, most people never really know the true price of a drug unless they are 100% on the hook for medications under…
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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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Consumer-driven Health Plans Confuse Enrollees

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As more employers are moving their workers into consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs), a new study has found that many employees don’t understand how such plans and their moving parts work. The report found that there is widespread misunderstanding among enrollees in CDHPs about the health savings accounts (HSAs) or flexible spending accounts attached to those plans and health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs). This is an increasingly important issue that needs to be addressed by employers as CDHPs and reimbursement accounts quickly gain traction. The “Acclaris Consumer Education Survey” of health industry professionals found that: • 64.5% of health industry professionals rated…
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Specialty Drugs Raising Concerns for Employers, Employees

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While rapidly rising drug costs are starting to raise concern among employers, one major driver of health care costs is drug spending that’s not even part of the pharmacy benefits you offer your staff. Most health plans never anticipated including in their drug benefits packages specialty drugs – a new class of pharmaceuticals that are tailored to individuals based on their genetic makeup or other factors. The problem is that they typically have high price tags that can exceed $100,000 a year, and the costs are often difficult to detect since the cost is often listed as a medical billing,…
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