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S&S Benefits.....Opinion, Hearsay & News Review

S&S Benefits Consulting, Inc.  219 Darien , Dundee , IL 60118   Phone: 847-428-5353, Fax:847-428-9876

Email :jseiler@ssbenefits.net                                              http://www.ssbenefits.net/    April  2014 Issue


Miraculously, 5 days ago only 5 million people had bothered to sign up for Obamacare, but today (April 1st) it was announced by the President that 7.1 million had signed up. Sure (sic). How many were the estimated 6 million who lost their coverage? How many were Medicaid sign ups? How many paid their premium? How many will continue to pay? How many were previously uninsured? How many were in the young person categories required to pay for the older and more sick people?  How does this solve the problem it was supposedly going to solve- the 47 million people who are uninsured? Questions which may never be answered.


The Segal Trend Survey says 2014 PPO with Rx trend is down to 8%.  Dental PPO trend is 3.4%.


Health insurers such as Wellpoint and Humana stand to gain $5.5 billion next year to cover losses from Obamacare according to reports from Bloomberg. Insurers who record profits of 3% or more on their Obamacare business put money into the risk corridor fund, while those who lose at least 3% or more are allowed to collect from the fund. Wellpoint is already predicting double digit increases for the Obamacare plans the company offers.


In 2015, the Obamacare enrollment period will be Nov.1, 2014 to Feb. 15, 2015. The out of pocket limits on non-grandfathered plans will increase by 4.21% to $6,600 single and $13,200 family. The user fee paid by insurers will stay the same at 3.5% and the reinsurance fee will be $44 per person.


The Pre-existing Conditions plan put into place before Obamacare has been extended from December 31st, 2013 through April 2014. At one time the program had enrollment of 135,000, but it is now down to 21,000. HHS also announced that all Obamacare plans must cover same-sex couples.


If you wish to be added or removed from the distribution of this newsletter, please email jseiler@ssbenefits.net


The BLS reports that private industry spent an average of $29.63 per hour worked for compensation in December 2013. Wages and salaries averaged $20.76 per hour while benefits accounted for the remaining $8.87. Compensation costs for state and local government averaged $42.89 per hour. No wonder so many government entities are going broke.


The Self-Insurance Education Foundation conducted a study of the policies offered by 8 of the largest stop loss carriers, representing 50% of the market. Employers with 100 or fewer covered employees represent ¼ of the market as measured by count of employers, but if measured by number of employees, they represent only 2% of the stop loss market. A majority  of stop loss purchasers obtain both specific and aggregate stop loss coverage, but companies of 1,000 employees or more usually only purchase specific.  The median specific purchased was $85,000 and 80% of those surveyed purchased specific coverage at $50,000 or more. The most common aggregate purchased was at 125% of expected claims.


A UBA survey of 70 small group renewals in Kentucky showed that two employers had a decrease in rates and the other 68 had an average increase of 58% on their rates due to the inability  to rate based on gender, age and health.


USA Today reports that expenses for health care rose 5.6% in the fourth quarter and accounted for 25% of the economy’s 2.6% annualized growth in the last three months of 2013. Driving the increase was an 8% rise in hospital revenue despite inpatient days decreasing by 1% in the fourth quarter.