Home Up Services About The Truth Useful Links Accomplishments Creative-Cost Plus OBAMACARE Newsletter Archive


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 2012 Issue


A new Met life study has some interesting results. Sixty-six percent of employees say health benefits are an important driver of loyalty to an employer, while only 57% of employers believed that to be the case. Retirement benefits are also rated by 59% of employees as a reason for loyalty, while only 42% of employers realized this is the case. For non-medical benefits such as dental, disability and life insurance, 51% of employees rated these benefits as being important in their loyalty to employers, while only 32% of employers thought the benefits were sources of loyalty.


The HR Policy Association reports that the Obama administration is considering ERISA preemption limitations under PPACA and may try to limit the availability of lower stop loss attachment points. The administration views self-funded health plans as being destructive towards the exchanges the administration seeks to create. Therefore, the administration appears to be making moves to limit specific stop loss attachment points available.


The 2013 annual HSA contribution limit for self- only coverage will increase to $3,250 (a $150 increase from  2012). The family limit is going up by $200 to $6,450. The required minimum deductible  will increase by $50 to  $1,250 single and by $100 to $2,500 for family coverage. The HDHP out of pocket maximum will go to $6,250 for single and $12,500 for family.


Cigna has agreed to acquire the supplemental health insurance unit of American Financial Group for $295 million. By acquiring Great American Supplemental Benefits Group, Cigna can significantly expand the Medicare and individual supplemental offerings it provides for members.


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

According to the 2012 Milliman Medical Index, the average cost for a family of four enrolled in a PPO plan hit a record of $20,786. That is a 6.9% increase over 2011. Miami has the highest cost at $24,965 while Phoenix was the lowest at $18,365.

HCSC (BCBS-IL, TX, OK) paid CEO Patricia Hemingway $12.9M in 2011, a 61% raise from the prior year. The 10 highest paid execs earned $41.7M, a 65% increase from the $25.3 they were paid the year before.

The WSJ reports that the arrogant and narcissistic HHS has notified insurers that pay rebates to members must inform the members that the rebates are the result of Obamacare.

HHS has also issued guidance that states must decide by Nov. 16 whether to run their own exchange, defer to the federal exchange or choose only to perform some services. Only 15 states have actually taken steps to establish exchanges. Meanwhile, in MA, the Romneycare plan is causing non-profit losses. BCBS-MA reported an operating loss or $4.7M in the first quarter. Tufts reported its operating loss increased from $4.2M to $7.1M. Harvard Pilgrim reported an operating income drop from $24M to $400,000.

The 2010 HCCI Health Care Cost and Utilization Report shows that per capita spending on people under age 65 is growing by 3.3% and that higher spending is due to price increases rather than utilization. Spending grew fastest among those age 18 and younger.

United Healthcare has provided an early indicator that rebate payouts will be less than 1% of total premium for 2011.  Rebates are separated by state and the categories of large group, small group and individual coverage. No rebates are expected in 20 states where UHC provides coverage.

The Indiana Dept. of Insurance says that three of Assurant Health's subsidiaries (Time, John Alden and Union Security) must refund $2.75 million in premiums  charged to 600 individual small businesses and must  immediately lower the rates it is charging. The rates were charged without first receiving state approval. Assurant claimed it did not know of the Department's new authority to approve rates.

A Prudential survey of 186 senior finance executives at mid to large size companies with defined benefit plans found that those executives for the first time were more concerned with the cost of retirement benefits than with the cost of health benefits.