Consumer tools are a lot like the vegetables that kids may not want but most definitely need. Nobody really wants a consumer-directed health plan. Prior to the deductible, people have to pay the contracted price for healthcare services and are asked to “shop around” and make better decisions, but right now there’s no good way to compare those options. To make today’s plan designs a little more palatable to employees and to make sure they don’t go without needed care, we have to provide them and their family members with some tools and some alternatives.
Author: Eric Johnson
Thank you for attending the Texas Association of Health Underwriters Convention April 27th. You can…
Eric Johnson presented three hours of continuing education at the Panhandle Association of Health Underwriters Symposium in Amarillo April 13th. Thank you to Allison Butler and the others for inviting me to speak and for putting on a great event.
Eric Johnson presented six hours of continuing education at the Coastal Bend Association of Health Underwriters Day of Education in Corpus Christi April 7th. A big thank you to Jennifer Pleasants, Sarah Parkey, and the others who put so much work into this great event.
Eric Johnson presented a one-hour CE courses at the San Antonio AHU Symposium April 6th entitled “Improving and Expanding HSAs.” It detailed some of the proposed changes to Health Savings Accounts that are included in various ACA replacement plans.
Eric Johnson presented two CE courses at the Austin AHU Symposium April 5th. The first was about telehealth solutions; the second was about Health Savings Accounts. Both have grown rapidly in recent years and will continue to grow as wait times increase and out of pockets continue to grow.
It was about as close as you can get to a sure thing in politics. But on March 24, after 18 days of in-fighting among House GOP members, President Trump and Speaker Ryan made the decision to pull the American Health Care Act, the reconciliation bill that would have done away with the individual and employer mandates, the individual and small group tax credits, expanded Medicaid, and billions of dollars’ worth of taxes. So what in the world happened? And what can we expect to happen next?
Eric Johnson presented a one hour CE entitled “A Better Way: The Republican Replacement Plan” at the Dallas AHU Technology Symposium March 28th. This was a great event that focused on the growing role of technology in the benefits industry. While Eric’s talk was not technology-related, the day would not be complete without an update on the attempts to repeal and replace the ACA.
Health Savings Accounts have been around since 2004 and, aside from a few tweaks along the way and an annual adjustment for inflation, are pretty much the same as they were when they were first introduced. That could soon be changing, though. Nearly every major proposal to repeal and replace the ACA—as well as several recently filed bills—include multiple suggestions to improve and expand HSAs.
For small employers who chose not to hang on to the “grandfathered” plan that they had when the health reform law was signed back in 2010, transitional—or “grandmothered”—plans gave them a second chance to avoid modified adjusted community rating and some of the other changes called for by the ACA. However, the transition period will soon be over and grandmothered plans will go away for good.
Eric Johnson was the guest speaker at the Dallas Association of Health Underwriters luncheon February 15th. Attendees can download a copy of the presentation “ACA: Should It Stay or Should It Go” here.
Eric Johnson was the guest speaker at the Austin Association of Health Underwriters luncheon February 9th. Attendees can download a copy of the presentations “ACA: Should It Stay or Should It Go” and “Defined Contribution is Finally Legal!” here.
Shortly after being sworn in as the nation’s 45th president, Donald Trump swung by his new office at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. to hang the drapes and sign a few executive orders. Among them was one instructing federal regulators to take steps to ease the burdens of Obamacare.
Here’s a refresher on the biggest Obamacare issues, a look at what the new president and Congress are going to do about the ACA, and a sneak peak at what “Trumpcare” could look like. [Seattle Times]
The Anthem-Cigna and Aetna-Humana deals aren’t done yet. Just three weeks before the end of his term, President Obama’s Justice Department is still fighthing the proposed mergers. [The National Law Review]
In a recent post about the ongoing EpiPen pricing saga, I suggested that a case study might be unfolding before our eyes: for the first time I can remember, “consumerism” actually seems to be influencing health care prices. This is part two of that story.
Here’s a quick overview of the Senate report about predatory drug pricing. [Los Angeles Times]
Sudden Price Spikes in Off-Patent Prescription Drugs: The Monopoly Business Model that Harms Patients, Taxpayers, and the U.S. Health Care System
Here’s the 131-page Senate report about pharmaceutical companies that have raised the price of life-saving drugs as much as 5,000%. It’s not just EpiPen… [U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging]
This class examines the new and old compliance requirements that are creating headaches for HR managers, broker’s role in easing this paperwork burden, and the competitive advantage agents can gain from offering a solution.
The ACA has taken years to implement, and it’s unlikely that it can be undone overnight. This article explains that ACA replacement may be incremental, “with small bills that tackle one part of the health care system at a time.” [Politico]
Today, President Obama signs the 21st Century Cures Act into law and in doing so legalizes “qualified small employer HRAs.” This is a battle we’ve been fighting in the insurance industry for at least the last decade, and as of today, Dec. 13, 2016, defined contribution for individual plans is finally legal.
Here’s an article about the ethical dilemma created by rising health insurance premiums and the individual mandate exemption for members of a health care sharing ministry. [New York Times]
This is part two of a two-part “After ACA” webinar series. In this session, nicknamed “OPPORTUNITY,” we focus on the detailed effects by market segment, what the carriers are talking about behind the scenes, the “wish list” of agent organizations and industry insiders, and, most importantly, the opportunities that will emerge as the major provisions of the ACA are rolled back.
This is part two of a two-part “After ACA” webinar series. In this session, nicknamed “UNCERTAINTY,” we focus on the likely changes to the Affordable Care Act, the probable timing of those changes, the possible replacement plan, and what you should tell your clients.
As we all wake up to this strange new post-election world, two things seem certain: 1) Very few, if any, of us saw this coming. 2) This changes everything.
This is such a simple idea that I don’t want to clutter it up with a lot of words. So here are just a few quick points that should help you apply it to your business.
I was confident that, one month before Election Day, we’d have a pretty good idea who our next president will be and how his or her proposals will affect the health insurance industry. Boy was I wrong.
For years, insurance experts have used LASIK surgery as proof that “consumerism” in health care…
While we’ve spent much of the last six years criticizing the Affordable Care Act, the law does do some good things. In this two-hour ethics course, we’ll examine the ways the health reform law has helped individuals, employers, and Medicare beneficiaries.
Since the ACA was signed into law, a number of changes have been made to all types of tax-advantaged accounts, including FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs. In this course, we examine those changes and take a look at some of the others that may be on the horizon.