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Solutions adds new carrier – Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Ohio February 17, 2012

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Solutions has added Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Ohio to our list of available carriers.  You can contact us for quotes at 800-928-7449, quote@solutionsinsuranceservices.com or visit our Website at http://www.solutionsinsserv.com.

Assurant Health positions themselves for expansion with new Aetna Contract – This could result in lower premiums in areas where Assurant was previously not competitive in the market. January 17, 2012

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Group Insurance, Health Insurance, Individual Insurance.
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Assurant Health Contracts With Aetna Signature Administrators® to Provide Consumers With Access to Expanded PPO Network and Medical Management Services

By Assurant Health

Published: Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2012 – 6:05 am

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 17, 2012 — /PRNewswire/ — Assurant Health, a leading provider of major medical, supplemental and fixed-benefit health plans for individuals, families and small employers, announces an agreement with Aetna Signature Administrators, allowing current and prospective major medical customers of Assurant Health to access the Aetna Signature Administrators national PPO network.

Beginning in March, major medical customers of Assurant Health will be able to access care from more than one million health care providers and 7,500 hospitals nationwide within the Aetna Signature Administrators PPO network. Access to this network will enhance the competitiveness of Assurant Health for individuals, families and small groups. In addition, Aetna will provide utilization and case management services to Assurant members and share risk as part of a reinsurance agreement.

“This partnership with Aetna reaffirms the commitment of Assurant Health to ensuring our customers can access high-quality, affordable health care coverage,” said Adam Lamnin, president and CEO of Assurant Health. “This is great for our customers and exciting for Assurant Health as we strengthen our position as a leading provider of individual and small group major medical insurance in the United States.”

The multi-year agreement provides access to all current and future Assurant Health major medical individual and small group policyholders.

“Through Aetna Signature Administrators, members can gain access to a strong nationwide network of health care providers and important medical management services,” said Ralph Borzillo, President of the Aetna Signature Administrators business. “We are excited to provide these critical services to Assurant Health’s members.”

About Assurant HealthAssurant Health is the brand name for a family of health insurance products focused on providing a variety of affordable plan choices to consumers. The portfolio of health care products includes major medical, supplemental and fixed-benefit plans for individuals, families and small employers. Assurant Health is committed to providing access to convenient health care delivery, easy-to-understand products and value-added services that help customers better manage their health care dollars and get the most out of their coverage—ultimately seeking to protect not only financial security but also the health and well being of its customers. Assurant Health’s products are underwritten and issued by John Alden Life Insurance Company, Union Security Insurance Company and Time Insurance Company, which has been in business since 1892. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Assurant Health employs approximately 2,000 employees.www.assuranthealth.com

Assurant Health is part of Assurant, a premier provider of specialized insurance products and related services in North America and select worldwide markets. Assurant, a Fortune 500 company and a member of the S&P 500, is traded on the New York Stock Exchange and has approximately $27 billion in assets and $8 billion in annual revenue. www.assurant.com

About Aetna Signature AdministratorsAetna Signature Administrators provides access to a national PPO network, medical management services and stop loss or reinsurance coverage to third party administrators and health plans.

SOURCE Assurant Health

New 2013 FSA Maximum Contributions Released January 12, 2012

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Flexible Spending Accounts, Group Insurance, Health Insurance, HealthcareReform.
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The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) imposed a new $2,500 limit on the contribution or election amount for health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).  The new requirement applies to all FSA plans whose taxable years begin after Dec. 31, 2012 — even plans grandfathered under other provisions of health care reform.

The “taxable year” refers to the employee’s taxable year –and in most cases this stipulation means a calendar year. Thus, a calendar year limitation of $2,500 in salary reductions for the health care FSA will become effective Jan. 1, 2013.

Changes to Plan Documents
Plans that currently allow a health care FSA election of more than $2,500, must amend plan documents before Jan. 1, 2013, and change employee communications. Non-calendar plans that amend their plans as of Jan. 1, 2013, mid-plan year, may face some unique challenges or situations due to the changes required.

Be Proactive
To simplify administration of this change, sponsors of non-calendar year plans may want to adopt the new limit as of the first day of the plan year rather than waiting until Jan. 1, 2013. For example, if the current plan year begins May 1 and ends April 30, the plan sponsor may:

  • Communicate the change to employees.
  • Amend their plan documents to implement the new $2,500 maximum election.
  • Initiate  the changes to the contribution effective May 1, 2012, rather than wait until the mid-plan year in Jan. 1, 2013

IRS Posts W-2 Health Reporting Guidance | LifeHealthPro January 10, 2012

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Group Insurance, Health Insurance.
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IRS Posts W-2 Health Reporting Guidance | LifeHealthPro.

Christmas has been CANCELLED! December 2, 2011

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Health Insurance.
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Over the summer Santa was doing a little home maintenance and while painting the Toy Shop he slipped and fell off the ladder.  When he hit the floor he broke his leg and was rushed to the hospital. 

 The problem is that Santa’s health insurance has a big deductible and he had to pay thousands of dollars to cover that and his co-insurance cost.  Santa is doing better now but he spent all of his savings to cover his out of pocket costs and he didn’t have any money to buy the supplies he needed to make the toys. And this is the reason that Christmas is cancelled!

 Accidents happen and that’s why Solutions Insurance Services offers an Accident and Critical Illness coverage to fill in the gaps in your health coverage.

$10,000 of Accident Coverage is only $16.30 per month!

To review our accident policy please go to: http://www.accidentandcriticalillness.com/

Would You Go To See A Wal-Mart Doctor For Your Healthcare? November 10, 2011

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Health Insurance, HealthcareReform.
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We are curious to know your opinion.   Below is an excerpt from NPR’s Health Blog.

The nation’s largest retailer is planning to offer medical services ranging from the management of diabetes to HIV infections, NPR and Kaiser Health News have learned. 

In the same week in late October that Wal-Mart said it would stop offering health insurance benefits to new part-time employees, the retailer sent out a request for partners to help it “dramatically … lower the cost of healthcare … by becoming the largest provider of primary healthcare services in the nation.”

On Tuesday, Wal-Mart spokeswoman Tara Raddohl confirmed the proposal. She declined to elaborate on specifics, calling it simply an effort to determine “strategic next steps.”

The 14-page request, which you can read here, asks firms to spell out their expertise in a wide variety of areas, including managing and monitoring patients with chronic, costly health conditions. Partners are to be selected in January.

Analysts said Wal-Mart is likely positioning itself to boost store traffic, possibly by expanding the number of its in-store medical clinics and the services they offer.

The move would also capitalize on growing demand for primary care in 2014, when the federal health law fully kicks in and millions more Americans are expected to have government or private health insurance.

Click below to read the rest of the article, then let us know what you think, would you go to see a Wal-Mart doctor for your healthcare?

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/11/10/142156478/wal-mart-plans-ambitious-expansion-into-medical-care

 

Some Brand Name Popular Drugs Will Have Generic Equivalent Soon October 24, 2011

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According to NPR, some of the most popular and expensive brand-name drugs are about to go generic.

Take Lipitor, for example. In November, the heart drug comes off-patent — and by next June, there are likely to be multiple generic versions.

With almost $11 billion in sales last year, it’s the largest blockbuster to fall off what analysts call the “patent cliff.” And it’s just one of dozens of popular high-end pharmaceuticals whose prices are expected to plummet in the coming years, including drugs like Plavix (for heart disease), Seroquel (used to treat depression) and Nexium (for digestive problems.)

Patients often pay more for name-brand drugs, even when they’re covered by insurance. Sometimes they have no choice because — unlike Lipitor — many drugs don’t yet have generic competition.

To read complete article: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2011/10/24/141596137/big-name-drugs-are-falling-off-the-patent-cliff?ps=sh_sthdl

 

Why Health Insurance Costs What It Does October 17, 2011

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Health Insurance, Individual Insurance.
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I quote health insurance for a living.  As a licensed health and life insurance agent, it’s what I do.  People are often shocked at how much health insurance costs but, when put into perspective, there is one reason health insurance costs a lot, because healthcare costs a lot.

Pricing of individual health insurance is based on several factors including where you live, your age and gender as well as if you are a smoker or non-smoker and your personal medical history.  It’s all about the exposure and risk that they, the insurance company, is accepting for you.

Where you live comes into play because some hospitals and other medical providers are significantly more expensive than the others.  If you live close enough to them that there is a likelihood you would go there in case of needed treatment, your rates will be higher because your cost of treatment is likely to be higher.

Age and gender comes into play because underwriters can accurately predict what expense the average person of your gender and age would generate.  Lastly, your medical history and whether or not you are a smoker are considered because that determines what conditions you are at higher risk for and what extra premium they need to charge you to make up for that added financial exposure.

It’s all very precisely based on actuarial tables and underwriting standards.  The fact of the matter is that the insurance company is willing accept the risk of covering you and charge a premium based on what they anticipate their insured’s will cost.  This amount plus a profit margin of generally somewhere around 6-10% is where the premium comes from.  Of course the requirements of the State regulatory agencies come into it because each insurance company is regulated to make sure they can pay the claims that are presented to them.  Because of this, they must maintain adequate financial reserves to pay the anticipated claims that their insured’s would generate.

The insurance carriers have contracts with the hospitals, doctors, labs, pharmacies, etc to get discounts and try and keep the premiums down but the biggest factor in the cost of healthcare is you.

You are looking to buy health insurance not only to cover your doctor’s office visits, your lab costs and the prescription medications that you take, but also to cover that “what if”.  I have a client that was recently diagnosed with breast cancer, she is having surgery tomorrow and her out of pocket cost will be $4,500.  That is the amount that her insurance won’t pay because of deductibles, co-pays and co-insurance.  She is very happy not only that this was caught early on but also that she spent the extra money and added an accident policy with a critical illness rider to cover this “what if”.  Because of that, once her claim is approved, she will qualify for a one time payment of $10,000.  This will not only cover her out of pocket medical expense but also be able to help with the other expenses that come with having surgery and the related recovery time, not to mention the lost income for the time that she can’t work.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, the average cost of an individual health policy in the U.S. in 2009 was $502.43. Yes, people in their early to mid 20’s can expect to pay $120 – $180 a month for coverage but, people in their 60’s paying upwards of $800 or $900 a month is not at all uncommon.

I live in Florida which happens to be one of the most expensive states for healthcare. There are many reasons for this, increased skin cancer rates are just one example.  This compounded with an already high national average just makes finding a cheap plan in Florida impossible unless you know how to bundle multiple products together.

A male in Florida turning age 65, enrolling in Medicare for the first time will pay $115 a month for Medicare Part B and then can expect to pay about $325 a month for a good Medicare supplement to cover the things that Medicare doesn’t cover.  Then add onto that, Medicare Part D Prescription Coverage that can range anywhere from $50 to $150 a month and you end up with a total premium of at least $500.  That’s for a government program, much of which is paid for for with tax dollars and, you still have a deductible.  Again, this is Florida and most of the rest of the nation is much less expensive.  Even in Florida there are creative ways to get excellent coverage and save money.

Finding affordable coverage is possible, depending upon your expectations.  Many people pay $200 a month to insure their car and that doesn’t even include the maintenance.  You are worth more, can potentially cost a lot more to repair and are a lot more expensive to maintain.

We all need health coverage.  Get it today because you need it.  Change it in the future because hopefully something better will come along!

Reduced Rates Available for HumanaOne Major Medical plans in 8 FL counties June 27, 2011

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Health Insurance, Individual Insurance.
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Beginning June 25th National Point of Service-Open Access (NPOS) will replace the Humana/ChoiceCare offering for HumanaOne Enhanced, Copay, Health Savings Account (HSA), and Value plans, giving members a reduction in premiums compared to rates at the beginning of the year in three markets that include eight southern and central Florida counties:

  • Orlando market: over 10% savings
  • Ft. Lauderdale/North Miami market: over 7% savings
  • Indian River market: 6% savings

NPOS-Open Access offering benefits:

    • Plan members who travel have access to participating providers coast to coast
    • Network stability with a broad range of provider choices available: more than 600,000 providers and 3,527 hospitals in 50 states including District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.
    • Easy access to daily updates of provider information on Physician Finder Plus
    • NPOS-Open Access is not linked with an association
Obtain online quotes here >>>>>http://bit.ly/jg8deT

HHS TO REDUCE PREMIUMS FOR PCIP June 1, 2011

Posted by solutionsinsuranceservices in Health Insurance, Individual Insurance.
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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced new steps to reduce premiums and make it easier for Americans to enroll in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan. Premiums for the Federally-administered Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) will drop as much as 40 percent in 18 States, and eligibility standards will be eased in 23 States and the District of Columbia to ensure more Americans with pre-existing conditions have access to affordable health insurance. The Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan was created under the Affordable Care Act and serves as a bridge to 2014 when insurers will no longer be allowed to deny coverage to people with any pre-existing condition, like cancer, diabetes, and asthma.

If you would like further information, you can review the full article here: http://www.hhs.gov/news/press/2011pres/05/20110531b.html or you can contact us at info@solutionsinsuranceservices.com.