Wishing you a Happy New Year with the hope that you will have many blessings in the year to come!
A new study has found that more and more large employers are ditching high-deductible health plans as the job market tightens and they need to boost improve their health insurance offerings to retain and attract talent, and saddle their employees with less of the cost burden.
One of the country’s largest health insurers has sued a number of pharmaceutical companies, accusing them of running a price-fixing cartel of common generic drugs.
Humana Inc. has accused the companies of colluding on the prices of generics to the detriment of health insurers that have to pay for these drugs. Humana said in its lawsuit that this collusion prevented fair competition among insurers that could have reduced the cost of many of these drugs.
In an effort to coax health plan participants to use price-shopping behavior when deciding on where to have a procedure, more insurers are starting to roll out a system known as “reference pricing.”
With reference pricing, the health insurer imposes a limit on the amount it will pay for a particular procedure – a limit that is reasonable and allows access to care for patients. The price is usually a median or average price in the local market.
In a move that exemplifies the potential conflict of interest that some large pharmacy benefit managers have, the nation’s largest PBM earlier this year said it would demand that rebates remain unchanged when drug makers roll out new price cuts.
Drug makers earlier in the year said they would start reducing prices as well as the rebates they pay PBMs to appease lawmakers and the Trump administration, saying it would reduce the cost of medicine for patients.
There are typically two approaches to securing health coverage for your staff – group health insurance or self-funding.
Self-funding, however, can be costly and risky and is usually only done by larger organizations with thousands of employees. But there is a hybrid model that can help small and mid-sized employers provide their staff with affordable health coverage: partial self-insuring.
By now you should be prepared and ready to go for your 2020 employee benefits open enrollment. You should have all your plan documents and have prepared or held presentations for your staff to explain the benefits package and any major changes to the plans that you offer.
Employees should be familiar with how to use the enrollment portal and who they should talk to if they have questions.
President Trump has issued a multi-faceted executive order to reduce costs and increase pricing transparency in the health care and insurance system.
The parts of his order that could affect benefits that are part of employer-sponsored plans include:
A new survey has found that many American workers are struggling with medical bills even though they have employer-sponsored health plans.
The good news from the survey was that 81% of respondents said they had health insurance, which meant they were 19% more financially fit than people without insurance. They were also happier.