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March 2013

March 25, 2013 by  
Filed under Newsletter

News Bulletin For March 2013
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Alternative To Dependent Group Coverage

Maintaining coverage for dependents (spouses, children, domestic partners) can be cost-prohibitive for many employees on your group coverage. Oftentimes an individual plan for their dependents is less expensive and a better value than adding them to the group plan. Click the link below to begin research for lower cost dependent coverage. 


 
 

Healthy Kids

Healthy Kids provides no-cost, low-cost and full-cost health coverage options for uninsured Oregon children and teens up to 19 years of age.

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Drake Park
 
OREGON INSURANCE EXCHANGE UPDATE

On October 1, 2013 Oregon's insurance Exchange (known as Cover Oregon) will begin enrolling individuals and small businesses (less than 50 employees) for January 1, 2014 effective dates. While the details of what is being offered, which insurance companies will participate in the exchange and the specifics of the enrollment process are all still works in progress, we can tell you about the exchange on a broader level.

For purposes of simplification, think of Cover Oregon as another insurance company option to provide your employee benefits. They will likely offer several plans from many different insurance companies, but Cover Oregon will assume no actual financial risk. Essentially, their role as "benefits administrator" will be to negotiate rates and plans and to offer centralized administration for billing and payment purposes.

Companies and individuals may choose to secure benefits through the Exchange, although federal law dictates that identical plans offered in and outside of the Exchange must be identical in price. So if the plans are the same and there is no difference in pricing what is/are the advantages of purchasing thru the Exchange? As we see it there may be two potential advantages of the Exchange:

  1. The ability to offer more than one insurance company. Most employers under 50 enrolled employees have the ability to offer more than one benefit plan but not more than one insurance company (i.e. Adding Kaiser as an alternative to your current Blue Cross option). This option may be a nice alternative for those employers who distain the current "one-size-fits-all" mentality.
  2. It's highly probable that the Exchange will be the only place that eligible employees may receive their government subsidy. As we have stated, employees who live within 100% – 400% of the federal poverty level will qualify for government assistance by way of a tax credit. The Exchange is an efficient way to administer and track these subsidies.

Larry Sherwood & Associates, Inc. is keeping a very close watch on the developments in Salem. What we want our clients to know is that we have every intention of becoming "Exchange certified" so that we can present our clients with every available option.

BITTER PILL: WHY MEDICAL BILLS ARE KILLING US

 This recent Time Magazine cover story takes a very in-depth look at the real problem with the American healthcare system; the cost of care. The article looks at how the medical industry has focused the public's attention on who should pay and away from how much we pay.  This expose' will help the reader understand how we, the consumer, pay for health services.  As we have said many times, the cost of health insurance is simply a reflection of the cost of the care consumed.  Settle in, it's a long read but well worth it!

 Full Article

THE PRICE OF OBAMACARE'S BROKEN PROMISES

The inflammatory headline aside, this article prepared by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions outlines the elements of the Affordable Care Act that will increase health insurance costs. The information provided draws its conclusions from several different partisan and non-partisan sources. LSA has been skeptical of initial claims that the PPACA would drive health insurance rates down. After reading this article we are even more assured of our position….unfortunately!

Full Report

  
 
 

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