Posts Tagged ‘Health insurance’

President’s Message

Posted on: February 13th, 2012 by Kristine No Comments

It’s hard to believe that March is almost here already.  We started the year off with a bang with a trip to Washington DC with the National Association of Health Underwriters.  We also completed open enrollment as the Exclusive Broker for ASBB (Arizona Small Business Benefits), and are excited to continue working with their group to offer alternative options like we offer our other clients to fit their health insurance needs and budget.  And of course I am keeping up with Association commitments such as NAWBO Phoenix, Tempe Chamber and Gabriel’s Angels.

I wanted to share some news about all the awesome opportunities we had in DC.  Of course, the conference included amazing speakers on Healthcare Reform such as Steve Larsen, the Director for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight Center, Dan Schwartzer, the Deputy Commissioner for Life and Health, and the highlight was John Boehner, the Speaker of the House.

We received first-hand information on where things stood with the different government departments and committees involved with Healthcare Reform.  The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, spoke the morning following President Obama’s State of the Union address which was worth the entire trip.  He was very direct and had a sense of humor, providing insights that the President’s focus the past few months and in the future months is the campaign.  This will not help the bottleneck within Congress, especially the changes regarding Healthcare Reform.

At the same conference I personally met with a few of our representatives, including Jeff Flake and Ed Pastor, and Gabby Giffords’ office gave us a personal tour of the Capitol the same day she resigned her position.  What timing!

The meetings with our representatives were to inform them of a few issues highlighted in the Healthcare Reform Updates section of our newsletter and blog.  It truly illustrates how they do listen as Ed Pastor cosponsored a bill just days after we informed him about it.  Please try to reach out to your representatives if you have an issue affecting your business.  They will listen as you are the expert!

The next legislative event I will be attending is locally with the Phoenix NAWBO chapter.  We are having our day at the Capitol on February 29th, followed by a reception at Alexis Grill on Central.  Please join us if you can to get more involved.  We will have several State Representatives in attendance and possibly our Governor Jan Brewer depending on her schedule.

I look forward to keeping you posted on all the changes that are going on within the Health Insurance industry, and thanks again for your business!  This allows us the opportunity to make a difference in the community.

President’s Message

Posted on: November 7th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Are You Prepared & Ready For 2012?

Happy Fall! This is the time of year where we all are pushing to make our end of the year goals and review the past year to plan our budgets for 2012. Are you ready for that??? I thought that a few tips from your insurance consultant might help your planning.

  • Do a benefits review to see what you are paying for each employee for all the products that you offer such as health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance?
  • If you are not currently offering those products could you at least offer them as a voluntary product?
  • Have you reviewed creative options with your medical plan such as increasing the deductible through ad H.S.A.(Health Savings Account), or pairing your plan up with a “Gap” plan or H.R.A.(Health Reimbursement Account)?
  • Is the plan you are offering receiving the most deductible advantages on your tax return such as group insurance when comparing to individual insurance?

After reviewing some of these ideas make sure to get your questions and share with your insurance and tax advisor. This will help start 2012 off with a positive direction that could save you money as well as offering a few more benefits to your employees.

Further questions? Call us at 480.831.7700 or email us at kristine@benefitsbydesignaz.com. We also invite you to join in our conversation on our new Benefits By Design Facebook page.

Participants Needed for Online Health Insurance Rate Review Survey

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

HURRY! Deadline to participate: March 31, 2011

The Arizona Department of Insurance (ADOI) wants to make health insurance rate information submitted by insurance companies more readily available to consumers, and to help the public better understand our procedures and authority to review health insurance rates. As part of our consumer outreach efforts, ADOI has created an online survey, designed primarily for those who purchase individual or small group health insurance in Arizona.*

This is your opportunity to give us your feedback about health insurance rates in Arizona. Your responses to our survey questions will better inform us about what health insurance rate information would be meaningful for you.

This survey should only take about five minutes to complete. All participants’ responses are anonymous. The survey may be accessed at the link below.

Please take a few moments to complete this survey, and let us know your concerns about health insurance rate review in Arizona. Should you have any questions about this survey, please contact Kathy Zatari, ADOI Rate Review Grant Manager, at (602) 364-2455, or at kzatari@azinsurance.gov

Thank you for your participation!

*This survey relates only to major medical health insurance for individuals and small employers (2 – 50 employees). We are not collecting information about Medicare Advantage, Medicare Supplement, AHCCCS plans, long term care, HMO’s or large employers insurance. ADOI is conducting this survey as part of a grant received from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information about this grant, please see: http://www.azinsurance.gov/RateReview/index.html.

Health Insurance Rate Review Survey

H.S.A. Guidelines

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

The contribution amounts for 2010 and 2011 are $3,050.00 for individuals and $6,150.00 for family. If you are over 55 years of age you are eligible to do a catch up contribution of $1,000.00.

You can contribute to your H.S.A. account for the prior year until April 15th or the day taxes are filed for the previous year.

Health Care Reform Wellness Grant Update for Small Employers

Posted on: March 29th, 2011 by Kristine No Comments

Beginning this year, grants are available for small employers to provide their employees access to new workplace wellness programs.

Eligible employers include:

  • less than 100 employees working 25 or more hours per week, AND
  • did not have a workplace wellness program as of March 23, 2010

The program must include:

  • Health awareness initiatives
  • Efforts to maximize employee engagement
  • Initiatives to change unhealthy behaviors and lifestyle choices
  • Supportive environment efforts

Eligible employers must submit an application to HHS (Health and Human Services) that includes a proposal for the program. Their website is listed below. Grants will be available until the budgeted amount ($200 million) runs out.

Wellness Grant Application for Small Employers 

Too Expensive to Cover Your Dependents?

Posted on: September 30th, 2010 by Kristine No Comments

Remember to look at individual insurance as an option for your dependents. Many of the carriers offer plans that have higher deductibles or limited co-pays that help to reduce costs. These plans can also work for you if insurance is not offered through your employer, or if you are self employed. There are also plans that are short-term major medical which are affordable and they are definitely better than not having insurance at all. Please call Chris Conran at our office for an individual quote, 480-831-7700 or chris@benefitsbydesignaz.com.