The 'Cadillac Tax': Employers Preparing for 2018

Posted on Oct 23, 2014 2:16:15 PM by Ali Desjardin

In 2018, the excise tax on high cost coverage (A.K.A. the ‘Cadillac Tax’) will come into effect. Some employers will be affected by the tax, and will have to start or already have started altering the health care plans that they are offering to their employees.

Is your office prepared? Employers across the country need to look at their benefits strategy and make sure (by working with an awesome broker, for example) that they are in compliance with the ACA. 

Continue reading post...

Price Transparency: It's More Important Than You Think

Posted on Oct 20, 2014 8:31:00 AM by Ashley Faber

Imagine you want to get a new suit tailored and are considering several different tailors in the area for the job.  You do some research and find that each are well-rated for quality, however none of the tailors will tell you how much the service will cost.  They inform you they'll be sending you a bill after you pick up the finished product.  You don't really know, but you expect this sort of service to cost $150.  When you receive a bill for $1,000 you become incredibly upset and want to do something but find it's impossible to get a refund and further information about the bill is unavailable.  Well...this suit better look good.

It seems impossible for a structure like this to exist, but it's the reality of how healthcare services are often delivered in this country.  Prices can be extremely varied for the same medical procedure depending on where you get it.  The cost of a standard colonoscopy may be $7,000 at one hospital and $10,000 at another.  This would be less alarming if there seemed to be clear reasons as to why one is more expensive than the other, but healthcare experts and economists have found that these totals are often arbitrarily determined on an individual basis.  They may have nothing to do with the quality of the patient care or the actual costs of performing the procedure.  

Continue reading post...

The Hidden Benefit to Investing in Employee Health

Posted on Oct 9, 2014 7:55:32 AM by Ashley Faber

Companies that don’t offer workplace wellness programs are now in the minority. A 2014 study found that 60% of employers provide such programs, compared with only 51% in 2008.  When discussing the benefits of wellness programs and employee health programs, employers often cite avoided medical costs due to the prevention or delaying of chronic conditions. They also talk about how they lose money when their employees are out sick; wellness programs can help them stay healthy and working. These are both excellent (and well-researched) reasons to start a robust wellness program. However, there’s another glaring reason to offer these programs: recruitment.

 Last week, Reuters ran an article on the benefits “arms race” currently going on in the tech industry. The article discussed how the largest Silicon Valley companies use creative medical care and wellness programs to recruit top talent. It stressed how employers are paying attention to how much employees value a strong medical plan, especially if they have something specific in mind such as infertility treatment. On the wellness side, the article talks about how employers use these programs mainly as cost-saving techniques.

Continue reading post...