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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/   January  2014 Issue


 

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

 

Overall employer costs for employee compensation averaged $31.16 per hour worked in September 2013 with $21.54 per hour for wages and benefits the additional $9.61 per hour. State and local government averaged $42.51per hour in wages and benefits while private industry averaged $29.23 per hour. Is something wrong with that picture? A UBA survey shows that public sector workers health plan costs increased 22% from $7,001 PEPY in 2012 to $8,551 in 2013. Private sector costs increased 15.8% from $5,226 to $6,040.

 

The following was developed by researchers at Crain's for Obamacare plans in Chicago.

Average Insurance Premiums -Single Annual

Average Maximum Costs (premium plus out of pocket)

Platinum-$3,866

$5,366

Gold-$3,505

$7,242

Silver-$3,091

$9,176

Bronze-$2,453

$8,710

Catastrophic-$2,006

$8,372

 

 

Due to web site problems on the exchange, people who were insured under the broke and broken  pre-existing conditions plans have been given another month to sign up for Obamacare and they now have through the month of January.

 

Oregon was supposed to have the best working web site of the states that built their own. However, through November the state web site had enrolled just 44 people at a cost of $300 million to taxpayers for site development. A NYT survey says that 53% of the uninsured disapprove of Obamacare, compared to 51% disapproval by those who have insurance.

 

Aside from constantly moving back enrollment dates to accommodate people who have not been able to access the federal website, HHS has now said that people whose plans were cancelled due to Obamacare are now going to be allowed to purchase catastrophic plans, even if they are over the less than age 30 requirement for those plans. In addition, the individual mandate will no longer apply to those who had their plans canceled due to Obamacare.

 

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

 

Obamacare was supposed to solve the problem of the poor using emergency rooms for care. However, a study covered in Bloomberg news shows that those who have Medicaid coverage were 40% more likely to use the emergency room than the uninsured. With the majority of Obamacare sign-ups being for Medicaid plans, emergency room use is likely to increase. Problem solved?

 

Health officials are telling new enrollees that the federal insurance marketplace will not be able to update their coverage to reflect the birth of a baby. Parents are being told to contact the insurer directly and contact the government later on after the government fixes the problem. Hmmmm, who do the Medicaid people tell?

 

The Supreme Court has put a temporary hold on the law that religious groups must cover contraceptives and abortion. The injunction was sought  by several Catholic religious groups including the Little Sisters of the Poor. Meanwhile, the administration  and DOJ are urging the court to reverse itself and make the groups subject to the law without further delay. Apparently, freedom of religion is not a necessity to this administration.

 

From the Health Trends Institute comes a survey of companies that says 35.2% of companies offered 3 or more benefit plans, while 34% reported offering only one benefit plan and 30.8% offered two options.

 

News reports are saying approximately 6 million people signed up for Obamacare.  They get 6 million signing up, but nobody know how many will actually pay premium. Of the six million signed up, 3.9 million are signed for Medicaid, leaving  2.1 million paying customers. An estimated 6.1 million lost their coverage due to the law.   All this loss of freedom and upsetting of markets and employers that was supposedly going to solve the problem of 47 million people being uninsured. What a waste. What a disaster.