How an Insurance Broker Gets Paid

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The Early Days For a New Broker

When insurance brokers receive their state health and life insurance license, they become popular people. Every single day I am contacted by a vendor (in my case an insurance vendor) eager to partner with me to deliver “value” to my clients. I’ve recently been offered: Caribbean vacations, piles of gift cards, motor scooters, and most tempting…cold hard cash. Early on I wondered if HR managers, CFOs, and Business owners knew how their broker gets paid? Now, ...

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Senate Report Examines Exploding Drug Prices

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Recent headlines on the exploding cost of prescription drugs have not gone unnoticed by Washington D.C. lawmakers.  The United States Senate Special Committee on Aging has issued a 130 page report examining the cost increases to previously affordable drugs that were acquired by pharmaceutical companies off patent.

Traditionally, the prescription drug industry recouped the cost of research and development by holding a new drug’s patent and being the sole manufacturer for a period of years before generic production was allowed ...

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Study finds Wisconsin has high healthcare prices

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A study released this month by the nonprofit Health Care Cost Institute found that Wisconsin has the second highest healthcare prices among the 41 states it surveyed. The study was based on claims data from UnitedHealthcare, Aetna, and Humana, which the Institute said represents 34% of total commercial claims in Wisconsin. The study found that prices in Wisconsin for over 200 common medical services were on average 81% higher than the national average, and that the ...

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New Provider-Carrier Partnerships Expand Across Wisconsin

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The first four months of 2016 have already seen three new partnerships announced between Wisconsin health systems and insurance companies. Looking down the road, it appears that provider-led health plans may soon become a major force in Wisconsin health insurance.

In January, Aspirus and WPS Health Solutions announced that they are forming a new health insurance company in north-central Wisconsin that will be called Aspirus Arise Health Plan of Wisconsin. In April, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue ...

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Is Retail Medicine Really a Smart Choice?

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Smart Choice MRI and ThedaCare announced this month that the Appleton-based health system is investing $3 million in the Mequon-based stand-alone MRI provider. In the announcement, ThedaCare’s senior vice president of Systems of Care Support, Keith Livingston, described the partnership as a collaboration with a competitor that is “consistent with our need to learn how to better meet consumers’ needs in the evolving retail health marketplace.” Livingston also told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that “[h]ealth care ...

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Drug Costs Continue To Rise

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Although the rate at which overall health costs are rising is historically low, employers, experts, and politicians are expressing alarm at the rising cost of prescription drugs. According to a recent Aon analysis, the average health care rate increase for mid-size and large companies in 2015 was 3.2%. Prescription drug costs, however, jumped by 10% last year according to a report by Truveris that was publicized by the Business Health Care Group.

In general, hospital expenses account ...

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Focus on Specialty Drug Costs

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The price of prescription drugs has been a well-known issue for decades. In recent months, however, the price of specialty drugs in particular has received increased attention on social media and from the mainstream media and candidates for President. Much of this attention focused on Turing Pharmaceuticals’ 5,000% price increase for Daraprim last month, but the cost of specialty drugs has been trending upwards for years.

According to Business Insurance magazine, group health plans’ specialty drug costs ...

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National Uninsured Rate Falls Below 10%

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Two national surveys show that the percentage of people without health insurance has dropped steadily since the Affordable Care Act’s public insurance exchanges launched in 2013. A separate analysis focused on Wisconsin concluded that while the state now has fewer uninsured than it did in 2014 and a lower uninsured rate than the national average, progress has not been as great as hoped. These findings come at a time when all viable legal challenges to the law have been resolved ...

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“Top Cancer Doctors 2015” Includes 31 in Wisconsin

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The publisher of “America’s Top Doctors,” Castle Connolly Medical, Ltd. recently released its 2015 list of the top cancer doctors in the U.S. The list is available in a 63 page supplement to the special health issue of Newsweek magazine published for the week of July 31 – August 7 and on the magazine’s website. Thirty-one Wisconsin-based physicians made the list, including specialists at UW Hospital, Froedtert Hospital, and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin.

Castle Connolly compiled the ...

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Aetna-Humana merger drives fee-based model

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With Aetna poised to acquire Humana in 2016, industry observers have noted how industry consolidation generally and Aetna’s growing market share in particular will lead more intermediaries to adopt a fee-based compensation model. Although fee-based compensation for intermediaries is not a new concept, it is far less common than traditional commission based compensation. However, it appears increasingly likely that fee-based compensation will become much more widespread in the coming years.

Traditionally, insurance agents and brokers have been paid for ...

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