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January 2010

January 2, 2010 by  
Filed under Newsletter

Numbers Don't Lie- A Case For Price Controls
When working on client renewals we are faced with the challenging task of rationalizing an irrational price structure. Health insurance prices continue to rise yet, in many ways, the U.S. is as efficient as other industrialized countries. Ezra Klein's Washington Post article does a fantastic job of illustrating just exactly why Americans pay nearly double for comparable services than our neighbors to the north. We are the only country that lacks comprehensive price controls and that leads to a wide variation in the 'unit cost of service'. Take a moment to read the article and particularly the supporting graphs. I think you'll find it to be a real eye-opener.

An insurance industry CEO explains why American health care costs so much

A New Dental Feature Worth Smiling About
We at Larry Sherwood & Associates have long suggested that dental insurance is a poorly designed product. It pays for most of your small, manageable expenses and about half of the major ones. Dental insurance has remained mostly unchanged for several years. Carriers recently have begun to "tinker" with their offerings. United Concordia has added a feature we think adds real value. Any expenses you incur for "preventive" services will not accumulate against your calender year maximum, saving your annual maximum to pay for more significant procedures. You can link below for additional details on their "preventive incentive" feature.

United Concordia Preventive Incentive

Self Funding For Smaller Groups – A New Twist on HRAs
HSAs give consumers a financial stake in their health-care spending, which can help small businesses control costs. However, spurred by the publicity surrounding HSAs and consumer-driven plans in general, many small businesses have discovered that there is another type of plan that suits their needs better, one that is older and perhaps less sexy than an HSA but that gives them more flexibility and control: a health-reimbursement arrangement (HRA). This Fortune Magazine article outlines a concept that we have used for the benefit of our clients for some time. You'll also find is a review of the differences between HRAs, HSAs and Flexible Spending Accounts.


An often overlooked medical plan can save your company money.

Larry Sherwood & Associates provides benefits consulting & insurance services to over 300 companies just like yours.



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