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October 2009

October 25, 2009 by  
Filed under Newsletter

State of Oregon Regulates Small Group Rates
A question we are frequently asked by our small group clients(under 51 employees) is "how did my insurance company come up with those rates?" The short answer is the insurance companies file for approval with the state of Oregon who either accepts, rejects or modifies that basic rating model. Plans are allowed variance within a specified range from that baseline. Unfortunately for small business, neither your broker nor the insurance company can alter those rates. In fact, given the same census, rates will be identical broker to broker. It is with this fact in mind that Larry Sherwood & Associates constantly strives to improve and expand services. Remember, "price is only important in the absence of value".
What Groceries Can Teach Us About Healthcare Reform
Imagine a 4 year span with no rate increases from your health insurance carrier. That's exactly what grocery giant Safeway has experienced since implementing an innovative wellness program in 2005. The program incentivizes employees to choose healthy behaviors and rewards them with lower insurance premiums. The plan isn't without its detractors however, who feel it punishes employees who are genetically pre-dispositioned to illness. The attached article written by Safeway's CEO outlines some concepts that we may be able to help you incorporate in to your employee benefit plan.

How Safeway is Cutting Health-Care Costs
Tort Reform Could Save $54 Billion
Placing limits on medical malpractice awards, "tort reform", has been discussed for years. It now appears to be gaining traction. In Mr. Obama's landmark healthcare reform speech on September 9th he alluded to the fact that he would support such reform. Also, Congressional budget analysts said Friday that lawmakers could save as much as $54 billion over the next decade by imposing an array of new limits on medical malpractice lawsuits. Such malpractice limits would have a positive impact on both hard and soft costs associated with health care. The attached article does a nice job explaining.

Tort Reform Could Save $54 Billion

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


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