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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QSEHRA Revives Employer Payment Plans For 2017

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On December 13, 2016, President Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law. Called “the most important bill of the year,” the bipartisan Act makes changes to a wide range of healthcare issues. These include allocating billions for cancer research, easing the FDA drug approval process, and allowing doctors to test medical devices without a patient’s informed consent in certain situations. One item that will be of interest to finance and human resource professionals at small employers ...

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DOL proposes changes to Form 5500

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The U.S. Department of Labor plans to revise Form 5500 to require insurers and health plans to report more information. The proposed changes focus on five broad goals: modernizing financial reporting, providing greater information regarding group health plans, enhancing data mineability, improving service provider fee information, and enhancing compliance with ERISA and the tax code. One element that is sure to attract the attention of smaller employers is a proposal to eliminate the exemption ...

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What do you know about healthcare spending?

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Healthcare spending has been a hot topic for years, but have you ever wondered what you really know?

MedPage Today recently sponsored a quick five question survey that provides a great fact-check for five important issues. The survey was designed by Paul Hughes-Cromwick, co-director of the Center for Sustainable Health Spending at the Altarum Institute, a nonprofit health systems research and consulting organization headquartered in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The survey asks five questions about total U.S. healthcare spending, ...

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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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Scam Targets Payroll and HR Professionals

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Earlier this month, the IRS issued an alert to payroll and HR professionals to watch out for a scam that aims to obtain employees’ personal information. The scam is a form of a “phishing” email in which a cybercriminal pretends to be someone they are not in order to trick the victim to install malicious software or send money or valuable information.

In this particular scheme, criminals are targeting payroll and HR professionals by purporting to be ...

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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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ThedaCare to Leave Network Health

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ThedaCare announced last week that it will leave Network Health on December 31, 2016. The Appleton-based health system first informed the Menasha-based health insurer last month that it would not continue the five year partnership that was due to expire at the end of July. The new extension will give Network Health employer groups and members extra time to adapt to the change, but will still result in significant disruption in the Northeast Wisconsin health insurance market.

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