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