Another lawsuit aims to take down the Affordable Care Act

A federal judge in Texas heard arguments Wednesday in a case aimed at doing what the Republican Congress has not yet been able to do — dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

The suit hinges on the change to the individual mandate as a part of the tax overhaul President Trump signed into law in December, which zeroed out the requirement that most Americans have health insurance or pay a fine.

The GOP plaintiffs also sought a “preliminary injunction” of the law, which would mean the law would be suspended while the case is decided. The judge has not made a decision on the injunction yet.

Judge Reed O’Connor, a conservative jurist appointed by George W. Bush, heard arguments from GOP plaintiffs, the Justice Department and 17 Democratic attorneys general, with the bulk of his questions going to the defendants of the law.

The lead Democrat arguing the case, California attorney general Xavier Becerra, cautioned against ending the law, even temporarily, as it “would wreak havoc in our health care system.”

The case was filed in February by 18 GOP attorneys general and two GOP governors. They argue the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in 2012 as a part of Congress’s authority to tax. Now that the mandate carries no penalty, it can no longer be justified as a tax and should be struck down. And without the mandate, the rest of the law crumbles, including the law’s arguably most popular requirement, that insurers must cover people with pre-existing conditions at no extra cost.

Legal scholars across the political divide believe this is a weak argument, but the case could be the first to go before the more conservative Supreme Court.

Although the Trump administration is technically the defendant in the case, the administration announced in June it would not defend the law. The Justice Department wrote in its filing with the case that it did not think the entire law needed to be eliminated, but it did agree the protections for preexisting conditions should be eliminated January 1, 2019, when the tax penalty goes away.

Filing a case that could put protections for those with pre-existing conditions at risk has already had some political fallout for Republicans, as Democratic candidates have started using it in their campaigns for Congress.

In response, a group of 10 Republican senators introduced legislations last month that prohibits insurance companies from denying coverage or charging more for a pre-existing condition. Democrats point out that the new legislation would not require insurer’s plans to cover treatment for those illnesses, as the Affordable Care Act currently does.

What all of this means is that this is once again a wait-and-see moment for the Affordable Care Act, a daunting concept with open enrollment and an election quickly approaching.

New vision for health benefits arrives in New England

Insurance consultant and agency ClaimLinx offers solutions for spiking insurance premiums

NORTH CONWAY, N.H.June 28, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — What started as a concept in the heartland about saving businesses money on their health insurance has now grown to a million-dollar solution for companies nationwide. Looking to shake up and break up the insurance industry in the area, ClaimLinx has brought its fresh ideas to a new office in New England.

Insurance agency, business consultant and third-party administrator, ClaimLinx has opened a new location in North Conway, NH meant to be closer to current clients and expand its influence in the community.

ClaimLinx specializes in helping small businesses save money on their health insurance by using a unique strategy for purchasing benefits that combines a high deductible insurance plan with a self-funded health reimbursement arrangement.

In 2017, ClaimLinx helped business owners save an estimated $3.2 million on their health insurance plans without increasing deductibles or employee contributions.

Tom Quigley, National Benefit Consultant at ClaimLinx, said rural, often underserved areas are in need of new ideas like those used at ClaimLinx.

“There’s a lack of creativity in the area so people end up paying higher premiums for worse benefits,” he said.

The company started in 2001 in Cincinnati after founders Christy and Tom Quigley were tired of bringing clients higher and higher rate increases from insurance companies. They decided to change how their clients purchased their health plan, and they have been serving small businesses nationally ever since.

Ideal candidates for the ClaimLinx solution are companies that currently provide a fully insured employer-sponsored plan and have between 10-75 employees. However, the company has recently expanded its offerings to include solutions for individuals and businesses purchasing benefits for the first time.

President of ClaimLinx Christy Quigley said she was especially happy to open this office to improve their presence in the area.

“We’re already seeing a change when working with local companies,” she said. “It was really important to us to be a part of the community up here.”

ClaimLinx will host an open house at the new location for current clients and local business owners to hear how its solution works.  The event will be held from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on July 26 at 24 Reporter Court, North Conway, NH.

Contact: Whitney Faber, (617) 892-4655
wfaber@claimlinx.com
www.claimlinx.com

View the published press release

Early 2019 insurance rates highlight a need for benefit alternatives

Inurance Consultant ClaimLinx offers employers a solution for rising health care costs

BOSTONJune 7, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Insurance premium proposals for 2019 are rolling in this month, so far with requested rate hikes as high as 47 percent in some states. This on top of health care costs outpacing economy-wide inflation for the first time since 2010 forecasts a challenging market for business owners.

Nationwide insurance companies are citing policy changes to the Affordable Care Act, including the repeal of the individual mandate and expanded short term options, as the culprit for the requested higher rates.

Also driving up premiums are medical expenditures. They are expected to rise 2.2 percent this year, compared with 1.9 percent for overall inflation, according to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Yet rising prices have done nothing to quell employees’ desire for improving benefits, as they’re now being used as a benchmark in a tightening job market. Employers are going to need alternative benefit solutions to stay competitive with the national unemployment rate dipping to 3.8 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

They’re going to need options like those offered at ClaimLinx, a full-service consultant, insurance agency and third-party administrator that specializes in guiding business owners through the insurance market with its own unique strategy for achieving the best, most affordable health plan.

ClaimLinx has pioneered a solution for purchasing health insurance that combines traditional high deductible insurance plans with a customized self-funded medical expense reimbursement plan. The resulting plan enables employers to offer top-notch benefits at a much lower cost.

Tom Quigley, National Benefits Consultant at ClaimLinx, emphasized that this has to be business owners’ first priority.

“You’ve got to be providing the best assets you can to your employees or it’s going to become your liability — no question,” he said.

What started as a small idea in Cincinnati about cutting costs on health insurance has grown to a nationwide service with offices in Boston and North Conway, NH. In 2017 ClaimLinx helped business owners save an estimated $3.2 million.

John Moore, President of the manufacturing company Ohio Metal Products, changed his company’s benefits plan to the ClaimLinx solution because of increasing costs and even more limited options.

“Our company has saved tens of thousands of dollars,” Moore said. “ClaimLinx can provide the benefits that we want, not what the insurance company suggests.”

Contact: Whitney Faber, (617) 892-4655
wfaber@claimlinx.com
www.claimlinx.com

View the published press release.

ClaimLinx opens new office location in New England

In order to better serve clients’ health insurance needs in the New England area, ClaimLinx has opened a second location in North Conway, New Hampshire.

Situated in the heart of town, just down the road from the train station and community center, ClaimLinx’s new office is a small but mighty addition intended to be a home base for the service team for clients in New England.

It’s been difficult at times to provide the personal service truly desired without a location central to these clients. That’s why President and Owner Christy Quigley said she was so excited to add this location.

“We’re really happy to be a part of the community there,” she said. “We know being local is so important, especially for the people in the area, so we’re so happy to be in the position to add this office.”

It will likely take a few more weeks to become settled in the location. There will also be an open house event for businesses and clients in the area, but the date of that event is still to be determined.

Please note for the future this is a satellite office, so it will not be staffed and open with the same hours as the Cincinnati location. Visits should be made by appointment only until a more consistent schedule has been determined.

Christopher Roach, Business Development Manager for the area, said he especially likes to see ClaimLinx in the center of town.

“You literally couldn’t choose a better location,” he said. “We’re right there, easy to get to, easy to find, easy to come visit.”

Find the new office at: 24 Reporter Court, North Conway, NH 03860.

 

Client Profile Subaru donates $16,500

This month Profile Subaru and Subaru of America, Inc. handed the Jen’s Fiends Cancer Foundation a check for $16,500. So we’re shining a spotlight on this client for giving so much back to its community.

The check was given as a part of the 2017 Share the Love Event, which is held from November to March each year.

This is the tenth time Subaru of America, Inc. has held this annual event, in which the company donates money for each car sold to certain national and local charities. This year the company donated a total of $21.8 million.

The Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation was one of more than 670 local causes that received donations as a part of the campaign.  The national charities included the American Society of for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), Make-A-Wish, Meals on Wheels American and National Park Foundation.

Over the last four years Profile Subaru and Subaru of America have donated more than $55,000 to Jen’s Friends from this event, according to the Conway Daily Sun.

The Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation provides financial assistance to cancer patients and their families, most of whom are in the Mt. Washington Valley area. They focus on helping those that are uninsured, underinsured or have other financial challenges.

The support the foundation provides is intended to “allow them to focus on battling cancer, without worrying about the indirect financial burdens that often arise.

We are proud to highlight a company we have been working with that is doing so much good in the area.

Click here for more information about or to donate to the Jen’s Friends Cancer Foundation.