Hot Topics Blog
Monday, May 22 2023
During times of economic uncertainty, the choices employers make about their benefits offerings can have long-lasting effects on their finances, employee expectations, and ability to attract and retain talent. This can impact the overall health of the organization.
To ensure ongoing success, employers should carefully assess all areas of operations, including employee benefits. Focusing on this specific aspect can reveal opportunities for cost savings that could significantly affect the organization's bottom line.
Here are some practical strategies employers can implement now to optimize their benefits program and support operations during challenging times.
Plan Design Re-Evaluation
Improve Employee Communications
By helping employees avoid unnecessary out-of-network care and guiding them to low-cost outpatient and inpatient options, you can reduce overall medical expenses for both the employer and employee.
Many employers are also creating easy-to-use benefits portals to educate employees and provide important information such as health plan options, forms, enrollment calendars, and links to additional healthcare resources.
Bolster Your Employee Benefits Package
By thinking creatively and using cost-effective employee benefits, you can maintain the quality of your offerings while freeing up funds for other areas that need support during an economic slowdown.
Ask Your Benefits Broker for Help
We offer no-cost, healthplan evaluations. Please contact Wendee Allen for further details at 425-314-0988.
Sunday, May 07 2023
What are Association Health Plans?
Association health plans (AHPs) are a type of group health insurance that allows small businesses, freelancers, and self-employed individuals to join together and access the benefits and savings of large group health plans. AHPs are offered by associations that are formed based on a common profession, industry, or geographic area. AHPs can provide lower premiums, more flexibility, and better negotiation power for their members.
How do AHPs work?
AHPs work by pooling together multiple employers and individuals into a single large group health plan. By doing so, AHPs can avoid some of the regulations and costs that apply to small group and individual health plans under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). For example, AHPs can design their own benefit packages without having to cover all the essential health benefits required by the ACA. AHPs can also negotiate better rates with insurers and providers, or even self-insure to lower their administrative expenses and avoid health insurance taxes.
Who can join an AHP?
What are the advantages and disadvantages of AHPs?
The main advantage of AHPs is that they can offer lower premiums and more choices for their members. AHPs can also provide more stability and continuity for members who may change jobs or locations frequently. AHPs can also foster a sense of community and solidarity among members who share a common interest or identity.
The main disadvantage of AHPs is that they may not provide adequate coverage or protection for their members. AHPs may exclude or limit some benefits that are essential for some people, such as maternity care, mental health services, or prescription drugs. AHPs may also vary in quality and reliability depending on the association's governance and financial management. AHPs may also face legal challenges from state regulators or other stakeholders who oppose their expansion.