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Health Care Cost Concerns for Employers

Health Care Cost concern employersIt is no surprise that employee healthcare ranked among the top concerns for employers in the 2017 state of small business report which was recently released.

Where employers can decide how much of a raise they give their employees every year, the spiraling cost to provide quality healthcare to employees continues to put financial pressure and employers who are also trying to increase profit grow revenue, and manage cash flows to run the day-to-day operations of the business.

Where you would think that growing revenue increase in profit would be the primary concern for employers of all sizes, this employer size breakdown suggest otherwise:

Employer Concerns by Size
5-10 Employees: Employee Healthcare ranked 5th, Increasing Profit was #1
11-50 Employees: Employee Healthcare ranked 3rd, Hiring New Employees was #1
51-100 Employees: Employee Healthcare ranked #1, Hiring New Employees was a close 2nd

This trend continued for employers over 100 lives, and suggests the close connection between hiring new employees and providing them quality healthcare.  The foundation of our healthcare system relies on employers to be the distribution model to support the system, and yet it continues to be a major concern for employers instead of – at times – hiring good people and or running a profitable business.

Areas of Concern for Employers
Employer Mandates: initially deferred, for larger employers there is a concern over the mandate to provide healthcare to a certain percentage of employees.  A recent survey from AON reports that 48% of employers list employer mandates as their primary concern after the recent election.

Employee Mandates: individuals have faced penalties if they go without healthcare there by driving up participation and overall employer healthcare costs.

Auto-Enrollment: The new ACA guidelines allow unprecedented access to healthcare without being able to collect and screen major medical impairments which can increase healthcare costs and overall lost productivity.

Reporting Requirements: New reporting and compliance regulations create exposure for employers over 50 lives and require increased oversight and labor/management to file needed forms to satisfy the reporting guidelines.

Technology can play a major role in reducing the burden placed on employers in a number of ways; from enrollment to education to reporting, employers should look for ways to streamline the process and reduce management expenses where possible.

Here are a few strategies for employers to consider as they look to control their overall health care spending:

Plan Design: many employers are taking a look again at the overall design of their health care package. Weighed against usage, we do see employers going to higher deductible options to address more of a catastrophic healthcare need.

Covered Participants: while many employers will pay all or a good majority of the healthcare cost for the employee, some employers are cutting back on spousal and dependent coverage. Additionally, some employers will be more stringent on a part-time definition for employees looking for healthcare.

Local Networks: there is a reason that HMO plans increase in popularity, it is due to the lower cost and more restrictive access to in plan providers. Many insurance companies have now developed provider networks for a local area that provide access to coverage at a lower cost than a plan that has a national network.

Health Savings Accounts: going to a higher deductible plan and including a health savings account to handle day-to-day expenses continues to be an attractive way to not only reduce healthcare costs but keep the employee more involved in their overall benefit utilization.

Health and Wellness: creating incentives for people to live a healthy lifestyle continues to be the best way to reduce overall health care costs. Coupled with wanting to create an environment where you have happy employees, this is likely the best approach for small to midsize employers who are looking to control healthcare costs.

While the concern around healthcare costs continues to be an issue for small employers, this is a concern that should not go unaddressed.  Take a look at the benefits package to ensure that the benefits are creating the culture you want as you bring on new employees.  A winning culture is essential to allow great employees to help your business succeed and reach those desired financial goals.

 

DHill Financial, LLC is an independent insurance agency focused exclusively in protection solutions for businesses and the people they support.  The core mission is to provide current and relevant insurance counseling in an environment which fosters comfort and confidence for all parties.  Licensed for life insurance and health solutions around the country, the agencies success is built on listening to the needs of our clients, and then reviewing the available options in the market with unbiased analysis.  It is our independent thinking and our unwavering commitment to only offer insurance solutions when appropriate that our client’s sense immediately.  Trust, Knowledge, Caring… Come feel the difference.  www.dhillfinancial.com

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month Reveals New Findings

Knowledge is key when it comes to being in control of your health. In this new book written by Jacquie Hart, you can get the knowledge you need to prevent breast cancer. Whether you are a young adult, mid-life, post-menopausal, post breast cancer surgery, or have a recent diagnosis, you can use this information against breast cancer. Inside you will find another option in addition to the standard treatment protocol and you will see scitentifically that we all have the ability to prevent breast cancer!
Jacquie shakes the bbreast-cancer-revealed-by-jacquie-hartreast cancer world with her 18 chapter discovery and call to action. She not only reveals the primary cause of breast cancer,  she unearths tons of research in order to back up and explain the cause. In doing so, she assigns a name to this cause so that people can easily spread this ground-breaking information. You get to be first to find out what this cause is called and start a movement to save lives!
Jacquie then gives you the best tool yet to avoid breast cancer in a simple, easy to understand risk chart. Nowhere will you find a more comprehensive, organized chart of known breast cancer risk percentages and how they are associated with its cause. You can locate the ones that have affected you and see how high your risks might be right now!
After finding out your risks, you will most likely want to avoid them. That’s great, because you will be introduced to the most comprehensive, science-based, doctor recommended approach to preventing these risks. Jacquie outlines a proven method, called the S.L.E.E.P. Method, with proactive steps that follow only one premise – to remove from your body the one thing that causes 75% or more of breast cancer.
Finally, we can have an easy to understand, reliable approach to prevent breast cancer occurrence or re-occurrence. If you want to take action, but don’t want to weed through technical jargon or unproven methods, this book is for you! The cause defined, a never-before-seen risk chart and a proven, easy-to-remember method for prevention.

Long Term Care Insurance Basics

Long Term Care insurance planningWhat is Long Term Care Insurance?  –  Long Term Care insurance is offered by a handful of insurance companies to address the cost of providing custodial care services in the home or in some form of care facility.  Custodial care addresses a disruption in one’s ability to perform daily activities like bathing, dressing, transferring, toileting, etc.  without the assistance from another person.  Long Term Care also includes supervision due to a cognitive impairment.  The most common type of cognitive impairment is Senile Dementia, where an individual needs someone to stay with them to make sure they are safe and secure.

Where health insurance and Medicare cover skilled care which treats conditions to help us get better; long term care insurance provides the coverage in the event conditions are not improving and there is a still a need for assistance.  The need for care may result from an accident or injury, but could also be needed due to a medical emergency, an extended illness, or due to general aging.

Most long term care insurance plans are issued to individuals versus group health plans.  While individuals could be disabled and need care at any age, it is more common that individuals turn to the policy for benefits during retirement.  LTC policies will typically cover services anywhere in the United States, and some provide benefits outside the country as well.  Originally, Long Term Care Insurance Plans covered only services provided in nursing homes.  Variations in the plans over the past decade have included covered care services in assisted living facilities and services provided in one’s home as well.

Different from Long Term Disability protection which replaces income if you are disabled and unable to work, Long Term Care insurance covers the additional cost associated with needing care.  While the cost of care varies across the country, in more metropolitan areas the cost for a one month stay in a nursing home can easily be over $8,000 per month.  Home care is often a more affordable option for individuals who only require a mild to moderate level of assistance.

With the cost of care so high, long term care insurance can play a vital role in preserving assets and the financial health and physical health of spouses and other family members.  Plans pay a selected amount towards the cost of care up to a specific policy limit elected by the individual.  Plans can also include annual increases to benefits to address inflation, however this does add to the cost of the coverage.

Want to learn about the types of plans available to pay for services, the major players in the marketplace, and the key questions to ask when determining if you need it?  Tune in to next month’s article for details.

David Hillelsohn, founder of DHill Financial, has been a Long Term Care Insurance specialist for 26 years.  David can be reached at (703) 435-6028 or david @dhillfinancial.com with questions about this content.

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Your Financial Intelligence – June 2016

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