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Humana Sees 202,000 Insurance Exchange Enrollees

Humana executives are disappointed in the current enrollment number of 202,000 from the state and federal insurance exchanges, according to an article in Modern Healthcare. That’s less than half of what competitor WellPoint has recorded. This figure accounts for less than 7% of those registered in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since January 2014.

Related Post: Federal and State Healthcare Exchanges Performing Poorly

Those 40 and younger are making up 35% of membership, which is a 2% increase. Humana is attributing the younger enrollee numbers to options for lower deductibles.

Executives expect the low enrollment numbers to greatly affect their bottom line, and staff cuts to possibly follow. Humana’s Chief Operating Officer, James Murray said, “When we don’t get the revenue that we anticipated and we’ve built the administrative infrastructure to support that, we have a scale issue.”

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Humana watched and benefited as competitors, WellPoint and UnitedHealthcare, were hit hard by the decision to opt out of the Medicare market. Because of the decision, competitors were forced to lower benefits and decrease their provider networks. Due to the low enrollee numbers, Humana may soon have to follow suit and make these same changes.

You can read the entire article by Virgil Dickson here.

Why You Can’t Afford Not to Offer Health Benefits to Your Employees

Rising health care costs, and changes in the health care system due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) have many wondering if employers will keep offering employer-based health benefits to employees. According to Larry Boress, President and CEO of the Midwest Business Group on Health, the answer is yes.

Boress believes benefits serve multiple purposes other than providing health care to employees. He argues that providing employees with health benefits allows companies to recruit talent and ensure workers have the ability, health-wise, to perform well on the job.

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Health care benefits are the second-highest expense for companies after payroll. In order to offset costs, he suggests companies have some of the following options:

  • identify disease and health problems early on
  • focus on prevention and management of chronic conditions
  • have employees pay higher deductibles and co-pays for care
  • consider using private health insurance exchanges
  • provide direct health programs and services to employees

Even with the high costs associated with benefits, companies continue to consider providing benefits a necessary expense and an investment in their employees’ health. Moving forward, businesses will need to come up with cost-saving strategies related to their health-care benefits.

Related Post: How Employer-Paid Benefits Affect Your Bottom Line

“At the end of the day, dropping health care coverage is not an option, especially for employers who are focused on the health and productivity of their workforce,” argues Boress. “Regardless of a company’s size, in a global marketplace, a business can’t afford to lose its most important assets – its people.”

Please read the entire article by Larry Boress here.

ClaimLinx is dedicated to providing its clients with the best possible benefit solutions that are compliant with the Affordable Care Act.

Please contact us to learn more.

ClaimLinx Now Offers Supplemental Insurance Policies

Tom Quigley, Vice President/National Business Consultant, provides consulting services, and is in charge of recruitment and new business for ClaimLinx.

Related Post: Is supplemental coverage right for your company?

Today Tom is discussing how ClaimLinx is incorporating supplemental insurance into their product line. The addition of supplemental policies for disability, cancer, accidents, surgery, critical illness/hospital indemnity, to name a few, broadens our scope and provides tax breaks for employers and employees. Monthly premiums are affordable and provide peace of mind should you incur a catastrophic injury or illness. Policies cover what health insurance does not, and with the Affordable Care Act, more and more employers are increasing deductibles and passing on more costs to employees. To find out more about supplemental coverage from ClaimLinx, please contact us at sales@claimlinx.com.

ClaimLinx is positioning its clients to move in the right direction.

Related Post: Start a path to savings on insurance

We We can structure benefits in your favor to ensure you are in full compliance with the law without cutting benefits or employees. Please contact us at at sales@claimlinx.com or(800) 858-1772 X 25 with your questions. Our new book, “How to Beat Obamacare” is now available on amazon.com.

CVS Pharmacy to Stop Selling Cigarettes

In an effort to become more of a health-care provider, CVS Pharmacy will stop selling cigarettes and tobacco products nationwide, as early as October 2014.

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Although the move is bold and will be expensive for CVS, the drugstore chain is dedicated to moving in a direction that provides basic health services to the millions of newly insured Americans, amid a shortage of primary care doctors. CVS is certain that this strategy will give it an edge over competing pharmacies as they develop important relationships with hospitals, insurers and physician groups.

CVS believes its future lies in creating convenient in-store clinics as an alternative to long waits at primary care doctors’ offices.

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Not only is the news a blow to the struggling $100 billion tobacco industry, but it will also put major pressure on Walgreen, Rite Aid Corp. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to consider following suit.

The unprecedented move by CVS has drawn positive attention from the White House and other government officials. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius called the CVS move “an unprecedented step in the retail industry.”

Please read the article by Timothy W. Martin and Mike Esterl in its entirety here.

Health Care Reform Law Dodges Bullet

A recent federal court ruling clarified a potentially confusing portion of the Affordable Care Act that relates to employer responsibilities and federal tax subsidies for uninsured workers.

In Halbig v. Sebelius, the federal court ruled that in states where ACA-mandated insurance exchanges are run by the federal government (instead of by the state), employers still have to pay a financial tax penalty if certain employees do not receive insurance, according to an Employee Benefit News article.

Related Post: Supreme Court To Hear Challenge to Obamacare – What You Need To Know

Additionally, qualified employees who purchase insurance in state exchanges operated by the federal government can receive tax credits to help pay for their insurance, according to the federal ruling.

At issue in the case was a portion of the ACA, under the Internal Revenue Tax code, that says, “eligible taxpayers may receive income tax credits for purchase of insurance “through an Exchange established by the State” under the portion of the act that allows states to create health insurance exchanges. The language did not mention state exchanges run by the federal government. Currently, there are 27 state exchanges facilitated by the federal government.

The court ruled that, yes, taxpayers can receive credits for purchasing insurance, regardless of whether the exchange was set up by the state or federal government.

Related Post: Federal and State Healthcare Exchanges Performing Poorly

Please read the entire article written by Alden J. Bianchi here.

ClaimLinx is proactively ready for the many changes of Health Care Reform.  For more information please visit the Health Care Reform section on our website. For a free brochure, please email service@claimlinx.com. Our healthcare exchange is live and you can view it here.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 513-677-6262; (800) 858-1772 or service@claimlinx.com – we would be happy to help.