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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/   June 2008 Issue

Trustmark has agreed to take over the Destiny Health book of business through a reinsurance and service agreement effective June 1st. Destiny insured a block of primarily small group employers in Illinois. Destiny has decided to focus on its Vitality wellness programs and had lost the backing of Guardian as a partner. Destiny never really got off the ground as an insurance company despite its big splash on market entry with the backing of its South African parent.

Unicare is cutting ties with Magellan Behavioral Health effective July 1st for its HMO and will instead directly manage the mental health care portion of the HMO plan. United Healthcare has changed the name of its Fiserv TPA to UMR. Healthscope has acquired the TPA CenBen USA . In Chicago , Advocate Health has offered $180M to buy Condell Medical Center .

According to an Aon survey, employee’s median contribution for family health coverage is now $3,120, a 15% increase from 2007 and 22% increase from 2006. Based on a median household income of $48,000, the amount is nearly one month’s salary. Median monthly contributions for coverage for 2008 averaged $66 for EE only, $160 for EE+1, $186 for EE+CH(ren), $189 for EE+SP, and $260 for EE+Family. Employer contributions for the 1,100 companies surveyed were: EE-$326, EE+1-$628, EE+CH(ren)-$574, $633-EE+SP, $863 for EE+Family. The average increase in employer costs was 10%. The number of employers offering some sort of wellness program tripled. Meanwhile, Milliman says the 2008 medical cost for a family of 4 is $15,609 (up from $14,500) for a PPO plan including out of pocket costs and contributions.

Business groups in Maine have formed a coalition to fight taxes implemented to fund the state’s failing DirigoChoice health plan to help cut the number of uninsured in the state. The program was to substantially cut the 190,000 uninsured residents 5 years ago. The program is costing $50M to cover just less than 13,000 people.

The American Cancer Society reports that the number of cancer survivors has increased four fold in the last 30 years and the prevalence of cancer is expected to double by 2030. According to Unum, cancer is the leading cause of LTD claims- 12.2% of claims. The other top causes of LTD claims were complications from pregnancy (12.1%) and back injuries (11%).

 S&S Benefits Consulting……We Solve Employee Benefit Problems-Give us a call the next time you need help.

The IRS has released the 2009 adjustments for HSA plans:

HDHP Minimum Deductible Amount









HDHP Maximum Out of Pocket









HSA Statutory Contribution Amount









Catch-Up Contributions (age 55 &>)



From a Texas newspaper- over the past three years over 7,000 M.D.s have flooded into Texas due to tort reforms passed in 2003 and 2005 and the State Board of Examiners has a backlog of 3,000 doctors waiting for approval. Tort reform capped medical malpractice awards for non-economic damages at $250,000. There are over 30 malpractice carriers competing for business in Texas and the Texas Medical Liability Trust has slashed premiums by 35%.  Similar results were expected in Illinois and malpractice premiums were going down, but recent court rulings have challenged tort reform that was previously signed into law.