Reducing Health Insurance Costs when Premiums are Growing

NJ and NY health insurance for nonprofits

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There’s no doubt that health insurance premiums are on the rise. In a recent study, the ADP Research Institute examined the costs of healthcare for large companies from 2010 to 2013. The study’s findings showed that the average employee monthly premium for health plans in 2013 is $832, a 13.9 percent increase from 2010.

Geography was one of the factors associated with rising health premium costs, as premiums vary by state. Currently, the state with the highest group health premium was found to be New Jersey, at a cost of $968 per month. However, age also plays into the cost of health premiums. ADP Research Institute’s study found that the highest monthly premium is for employees in the 40-49 age bracket, at $949 per employee. Since 2010, premium costs increased the most for the under-30 age bracket and the least in the 30-39 age bracket.

With average costs for health premiums coming in at $627 for employers and $205 for employees, it’s important that you find ways to reduce health insurance costs while providing exceptional options for your employees.

The Wall Street Journal recommends that employers offer a high-deductible plan linked with a health savings account. This type of offering makes it easier to control the costs of the plan since the focus is on the employee for coverage amounts. Also, consider a plan that features flexible spending accounts (FSAs), which “allow workers to pay for medical expenses that aren’t covered by health insurance with pretax dollars.”

Another way to potentially reduce health insurance costs is to implement an employee wellness program. A wellness program can encourage healthy lifestyles by providing employees with gym membership discounts, tips for stress management or access to healthy snacks during their workday.

To help you find the best health insurance plan for your employees, it is best to consult a professional insurance broker. Lamb Financial Group can help you find the best plan for your nonprofit or for-profit organization or business so you can save money while offering your employees affordable healthcare. Contact us today at 1-866-481-5262 to speak with a representative and explore the options we have to offer.

Health Savings Account Enrollment is on the Rise

health savings accounts

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Enrollment in health savings accounts (HSA) has risen significantly over the past six years. America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), the national trade association of the health insurance industry, released a census that reveals HSA enrollment has more than tripled since January 2007, jumping from 4.5 million enrolled then to totals around 15.5 million as of January 2013.

The census also shows that the most significant gains in enrollment were made between January 2012 and January 2013, which occurred in large market groups. Large group plans increased from 7.9 million to 9.6 million over the course of the year. The Health Savings Alliance says many employers are electing to offer HSAs to their employees “because of the high quality care and affordable coverage they provide.”

Karen Ignagi, president and CEO of AHIP, credits the increase in enrollment to the value that HSAs offer to both employers and individuals. “HSA plans encourage individuals to take an active role in their health care decisions while stretching their health care dollars,” she told Robert Zirkelback of the AHIP.

Other factors attributed to the increase in HSA enrollment include better access to “decision-support tools,” which were accessed by high volumes of HSA enrollees. For example:

– 93% accessed personal health records

– 88% accessed health care cost information

– 97% accessed physician-specific general information

– 76% accessed physician-specific quality data

– 90% accessed hospital-specific quality data

– 97% accessed health education information

– And 93% of HSA members had access to account information

Is an HSA a part of your organization’s health care offerings for employees? If not, contact Lamb Financial Group to discuss the programs we have to offer in health insurance, including HSA administration, as well as medical, dental and vision plans, among others. Learn more about our insurance products by browsing our website or calling us at 1-866-481-5262. You can also request a quote for your nonprofit or organization online.

How to Keep Health Insurance Costs Affordable for You and Your Employees

keeping health care costs down for your employeesRecent years have brought more attention not only to the growing concern over health problems like obesity and diabetes, but also to the skyrocketing costs of health insurance. Employers and employees alike are feeling the pain in their wallets, and costs could increase by as much as 30 percent as uninsured individuals obtain healthcare services through the Affordable Care Act.

As a small business owner, you’re probably just as concerned about how much it will cost you to offer health insurance to your employees as they are with what their contribution will be. Fortunately, there are several good strategies to consider that can help keep costs manageable for everyone. For example, consumer-directed health plans, which have higher deductibles and lower premiums, are often offered by employers and paired with health savings accounts (HSAs) that give employees the ability to contribute pre-tax income to the account for use on routine medical expenses.

Flexible spending accounts (FSAs) have also become a popular cost-saving aspect of health insurance in recent years. Using pre-tax income the employee previously set aside to fund an FSA debit card, the money is available for use on co-pays and over-the-counter medication, saving employees from out-of-pocket costs.

Price tiering for out-of-network providers is just one of the cost-saving factors PwC’s Health Research Institute identified in a previous edition of Behind the Numbers. “Rising deductibles mean fewer workers will visit more costly out-of-network providers,” (Grow Smart Biz). Other factors Behind the Numbers identified included cost sharing and an increase in the use of generic drugs.

Additionally, helping employees become healthier and showing them how that helps off-set their health insurance costs is another trend businesses are gravitating toward. Many employee wellness programs focus on changing unhealthy habits and offering incentives for employees that show progress.

Are you looking to keep health insurance costs more manageable for you and your employees? Lamb Financial Group is here to help. Contact us to learn more about our offerings and how we can create a strategy that best meets the needs of you and your employees.

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