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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/   November 2012 Issue


Aon Hewitt said that 2012 medical premium rate increases were the lowest in 6 years in 2012 at 4.9%, down from an increase of 8.5% in 2011. They project an increase of 6.3% in 2013. The average cost per employee was $10,522 in 2012 with employees paying $2,204 with additional average out of pocket costs of $2,200. The average PPO plan costs PEPY in 2012 were $10,443.


Towers Watson has released their 2012 Health Care Changes Survey and they project a cost increase  of 5.3% in 2013, down from the 5.9% they projected for 2012. Total per employee costs are expected to be $11,507, with employees paying $2,596. Their survey says that 88% of employers will continue to offer benefits to active employees in 2014. However, 60% of companies with a retiree program are somewhat to very likely to discontinue their programs for post-65 retirees and 64% are considering the same for pre-65 retirees.

Data released by the S&P Dow Jones Indices indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insurance and Medicare programs increased by 5.7% over the 12 months ending August 2012. The commercial cost increase was 7.81% with Medicare increasing by 2.48%.

Humana has stopped selling stop loss insurance for claims administered by entities outside of Humana. They are offering those companies the opportunity to renew with HCC at the conclusion of the contract year for each employer.


Humana has also announced that they  will no longer offer Life, AD&D, STD and LTD to groups of over 100 employees, although they will continue to renew any coverage in place.


Prudential has announced its withdrawal  from the Group Dental marketplace in order to focus on the Group Life and Disability business. As part of the announcement the company did not announce that renewal offers would be coming from any other company, apparently meaning Prudential  has not partnered with any one company to take over its business.


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UnitedHealth Group is set to become the controlling owner of the largest health insurance company in Brazil. They are spending $4.9 Billion to acquire 90% of Brazil's Amil Participacoes, which has about 5 million members ($980 per member). Only 25% of 200 million Brazilians have private insurance, but Brazil is increasingly turning to the private market for its citizens. UnitedHealth Group obviously views Brazil as a growth market.

Just something interesting from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation: They surveyed 19,000 appendicitis patient's bills in 2009 with uncomplicated cases and hospital stays of less than 4 days. The patients were ages 18-59 with the average bill  being $33,000 vs. the national average cost of $28,000. The largest bill in the study was $182,955 in the Silicon Valley with the smallest bill of $1,529 in rural northern California. For a better way to control costs, contact us about  Cost Plus and get predictable pricing.

The Pioneer Institute has concluded a study of the Cadillac tax in Obamacare for 2018. They say that the tax will hit 50% of Massachusetts  workers. The tax is imposed on  any benefits that exceed $10,200 for an individual and $27,500 for a family. The study said that many middle income workers with high value plans, such as those who work for the state, municipalities or those who belong to unions will be subject to the tax.

The Hill reports that the American Action Forum think tank says that the estimated cost of insurance subsidies under Obamacare has risen nearly 25% since the law was passed. The think tank is led by former CBO director Douglas Holtz-Eakin. After PPACA passed, the CBO estimated the cost to be $462 billion, but according to the CBO, after the recent Supreme Court decision that total has risen  to $574 billion.