March 31, 2010 – Newsletter

Posted on: March 31st, 2010 by admin No Comments

HealthCare Legislation

As your benefits advisor, we would like to take this opportunity to provide you a summary of the key components of the health care reform legislation and how it may impact you and your business. We expect that given the number of years that it will take to fully rollout these reforms, there will continue to be changes to many elements of the legislation. However, for the first time in over a year, we have a much clearer view of the changes that will potentially take place. This bill will:

  • Mandate that everyone must have insurance.
  • Result in more than 30 million additional people becoming insured.
  • Provide for subsidized coverage for people that can’t afford it and increase the number of people that will qualify for Medicaid.
  • Make cuts to Medicare Advantage Plans and change their payment formula.
  • Increase taxes and fees to many individual Americans and Corporations.
  • Make many changes to the way Insurance Companies do business from not allowing them to use pre-existing conditions to limiting their rates based on medical loss ratios.

Many of these elements do not phase in for many years. Those that are most immediate and are expected to occur in 2010 are:

  • Tax credits for certain small businesses.
  • Elimination of pre-existing conditions and an increase in dependant coverage to age 26.
  • Creation of a temporary reinsurance program to provide coverage for retirees over 55 who are not eligible for Medicare.
  • The further creation of a temporary national high risk insurance pool.
  • The prohibition of lifetime limits on benefit payments.
  • Closing the so called “doughnut hole” by providing immediate tax credits for Medicare patients who face a gap in prescription drug coverage.

The real impact in the health insurance system won’t occur until the year 2014. During the interim, there will be the phase-in of additional new taxes that will provide added government revenue to pay for these changes. The four most significant changes occurring in 2014 are:

  • Insurers will be required to take all applicants.
  • Insurance will be mandated for all Americans.
  • Tax credits to help pay premiums will start flowing to middle-class working families.
  • The most aid – including help with copayments and deductibles – will be made available for those individuals and families on the lower end of the income scale.
  • Insurance exchanges will be created to help administer subsidies for those individuals that require them.

When fully implemented, we believe that the majority of working-age Americans and their families will continue to have employer-sponsored coverage as they do today. In addition, through mandates and other subsidies, the number of people insured can grow by more than 30 million.

Please be assured that we will work to help you navigate through the various changes of this legislation to ensure that you and your employees are always offered the most choice and greatest value of benefits available in the marketplace. This will be a long road and I pledge to be with you every step of the way. Meanwhile, if we can be of assistance to you in any way, please do not hesitate to call.

If you would like more information, we would like to invite you to our legislative update meeting. The event will feature a panel of experts discussing how the recent legislation will effect Arizona business now and in years to come. Please RSVP (email, as we will not be able to accommodate any walk-ins.

Event Info

April 7, 2010
7:30 Registration, bagels & coffee
8:00 Introduction & Overview of Legislation
8:30 Panel discussion
9:30 Questions


KTAR Studios Conference Room
7740 N. 16th St. Suite 200
Phoenix, AZ 85020

The panel will feature:

  • Ruthann Laswick of Black, Gould & Associates and Regional VP of NAHU
  • Barbara Appenzeller, CPA, Appenzeller & Associates
  • Stephanie O’Donovan, SPHR, Pay-Tech
  • Representative Nancy Barto, Legislative District 7

Moderated by Kristine Kassel, Benefits by Design

Kristine Kassel, Past Presidet of ASBA

Were you wondering where Kristine was spending her time last year?

I wanted to share with each of you the great experience that I had in 2009 as the President of the Board for ASBA(Arizona Small Business Association). It was a challenging year for most small businesses, but I feel that the leadership role that I served truly helped make the year a success during difficult times. The position gave me several great opportunities to attend many different events, meet very powerful people and learn from others. I have attached a picture from my opportunity to meet and discuss small business issues with John McCain. I truly enjoyed the experience and thank the ASBA staff for the “2009 Board Member of the Year Award.” Now back to selling more insurance and of course Health Care Reform!

Do You Have Employees Paid on a 1099 Basis?

If so, there are group health and dental plans available!

Did you know that there were health and dental insurance plans who will write businesses who have 1099 employees?

Most of the health insurance carriers only accept groups if a small percentage of the employees are 1099. Some do not accept these employees at all! We are pleased to announce that one of our carrier partners, Assurant, will now work with these groups! There are also options for dental and life insurance plans, as well.

Please call Jennifer at 480-831-7700 for more information.

Spinal Hygiene

by Dr. Bobbie Bennett, Bodywise Chiropractic

Every morning as part of your “routine” you brush your teeth. This habit is so ingrained in you that you probably don’t realize you’re doing it. We all know what would happen if we skipped this important step every morning, your dental hygiene wouldn’t be so great, would it? Spinal hygiene is really no different, with the exception you can’t visibly see, smell, or feel the effects until something breaks down. Just like decay in the teeth, arthritis and degeneration in the spine come on slowly and the effects aren’t noticed until the damage is done. So what is spinal hygiene? Just like brushing your teeth is an essential part of your day, stretching and moving the spine are necessary to maintain a healthy spine. Some signs of poor spinal hygiene are forward head placement (picture the neck losing it’s curve and jutting straight forward) and rounded shoulders. Check out your coworkers sometime while they’re hard at work, and I’ll bet you might notice this postural change. These two posture defects can cause headaches, neck pain, mid back tightness in addition to breathing and digestive problems. Ironically, they can be avoided with a little work and really aren’t hard to maintain. Stretching and getting up from your workstation are a good start, and in association with exercise and regular chiropractic care will make a huge difference!

Dr. Bobbie Bennett “Discover a Healthier You!” BodyWise Chiropractic 4685 S. Ash Ave, Suite H-1 Tempe, AZ 85282 975 E. Elliot Road (Inside Luna Fitness) Tempe, AZ 85284 p. 480.775.2593

Non-Profit Showcase

Desert Gemz! OKC Bound!

Our individual specialist, Chris Conran’s daughter, Susie is a part of this team!

First of all, thanks for taking the time to review this short introduction into the lives of 22 young ladies from Mesa, Arizona. They all share a common love for the sport of softball. I am writing this on their behalf to enlist your support to help them realize their goals.

We are a non-profit, softball organization by the name of Desert Gemz. We have 2 teams, 14U and 16U. Our girls are driven by goals as a team, an athlete and an individual. One of our current goals is to travel half-way across the country to Oklahoma City in June of 2010 for the TCS College World Series Event. This is a unique opportunity for young ladies to participate in a 4-day tournament during the day and watch, first hand, the NCAA College World Series at night. It is a place where young college bound athletes begin to form, visualize and imagine the possibilities that are ahead of them. Your tax deductible donations would be greatly appreciated. Please keep in mind that all donations, large and small, are appreciated!

Thanks for your support in advance, Desert Gemz Organization 11441 E. Prairie Ave Mesa, AZ 85212 480-306-3933

Please call Chris at our office for more info! 480-831- 7700

Client Spotlight

Benjamin Franklin Plumbing

Watch for Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber on this season Celebrity Apprentice TV show, on NBC on Sunday nights. The May 2nd show will show celebrities sharing with you how great their service is and why Donald Trump picked them to be the first plumber on his TV show. But best of all watch for what celebrity gets FIRED!

During the show watch for the website address that will give you a great opportunity to win many great prizes from $100,000 cash to kitchen remodels and home repair discounts and many items in between. No purchase is necessary. If you need plumbing repair, water treatment needs, solar or tankless or standard hot water heater needs or want to use your $200-$425 cash for appliance rebates,(see their blog for more information) please contact our own Local Benjamin Franklin, The Punctual Plumber at or 480-812-1855 for valley wide service 24/7 no extra charges for weekends. Yes, for all you busy people this is a great plus.

For great up to date plumbing help and how to save money, follow their blog, twitter and facebook, all the links are on their website.

Mention Benefits By Design and get $49.00 off any plumbing repair or full match towards the cash for appliance rebate amount. For 26 years they have serviced many happy homeowners and businesses in the Phoenix area.

Follow us on Facebook
Fan us on Twitter
Read Ben’s Blog: http://

Solveing the Small Business Owner’s Retirement Dilemma

Eddie Diaz, Diaz Strategies, Insurance and Financial Solutions

There’s a fatal flaw in the retirement of many small business owners: After pouring a lifetime of sweat, time and capital into building the business, their rough-sketch strategy is to sell out someday for a ton of money, then settle back and enjoy a financially secure retirement. Many business owners are so sure this will happen that they don’t bother to make any other retirement plans.

Who is this person who, at just the right moment, is going to show up with cash in hand to buy the company and pay a fair price? For thousands of small business owners each year, no one steps forward. Perhaps the business is too specialized or is tied too closely to the owner’s unique personality and skills. Or perhaps possible buyers equate retirement sale with distress sale and make only low-ball offers. Whatever the reason, many owners find that their company has suddenly become a white elephant that nobody wants.

For more information, please call Eddie directly!

Eddie Diaz
Diaz Strategies
Insurance and Financial Solutions
14850 N. Scottsdale Rd. #400
Scottsdale, AZ 85254
P (480) 840-2165
F (480) 840-2127

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