Hearsay & News Review
Lincoln National Corporation has completed their merger with Jefferson Pilot Corporation and will operate under the brand name Lincoln National Group. Fiserv has entered the Fortune 500 and is ranked 488 on the 2006 listing with $4.1 billion in revenues.
It seems politics and practical economics are two items that will never mix. Witness:
A similar law is being proposed in NY which would require all non-manufacturing, non-agricultural businesses with 100 or more employees to provide $3 an hour in healthcare benefits for every employee, or pay that in tax to the state. A study by the Employment Policies Institute says that the bill, if passed, could cause the loss of 100,000 jobs and that more than 83% of NYís uninsured would still lack coverage. If the jobs are lost, how will these people buy insurance?
A study by Watson Wyatt of large companies shows that 4% of participants with serious health conditions and claims in excess of $10,000 account for 49% of health costs. 24% of plan participants have claims from $1,500 to $9,900 which is about 40% of health costs and 72% of participants comprise 11% of health care costs with claims of less than $1,500. That is certainly food for thought in the age of CDHPs.
An Aon study of 1071 employers showed that 32% offered two medical plan options and 37% offered at least three options. Only 19% reported that an HMO covered the majority of their employees, 13% had a CDH plan and 72% offered PPO plans. In 2006, 37% implemented disease management and 36% conducted a vendor search to reduce costs. 76% of survey respondents did not subsidize retiree health or drug coverage for retirees over the age of 65.
The AMA is concerned with the decline in market competition with insurance companies. They analyzed 294 metropolitan markets and in 95% of the areas, one insurer had a combined market share of at least 30% and in more than one half of the areas, one company had at least 50% market share.
As many of our readers know, from time to time S&S Benefits conducts informal and formal surveys to determine needs for products or to inquire about reactions to legislation, etc. Itís time for some feedback. It is always interesting to see the results (or lack thereof). Our recent inquiry about identity theft solutions in view of the FACTA legislation (and HIPAA Security for that matter) received only one response from a group that had purchased protection. Our inquiry and material about HIPAA Security rules which went into effect on April 20th seems to show that employers are thumbing their nose at the law, with less than a handful or responses. That was not surprising, since we saw similar results with the HIPAA Privacy legistlation. Our survey about broker and carrier quality drew few responses as well and certainly not enough to draw any conclusions worth publishing. For those that have responded, thank you for your time.