Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Tuesday Afternoon LinkFest

■ First up, via email, United Healthcare lets us know that its "Early Warning Report forecasts the states, legal entities and group sizes ... that are currently eligible to be issued MLR premium rebates by [UHC] associated with the 2012 calendar year. Any owed rebates will be paid in July ... There are 21 states and two territories in which UnitedHealthcare does not currently anticipate paying any rebates associated with group business"

Don't spend it all in one place.

The Council for Disability Awareness has just released its 2013 Research Report, focusing on the differences between how employees perceive disability benefits versus how HR folks understand them. As one might imagine, it's a rather wide gap:

♦ Most HR professionals (84 percent) believe the ability to earn an income is their employees’ most valuable financial resource, yet only 26% thought their employees were adequately prepared to withstand a disability

HR professionals believe their employees are financially vulnerable to a loss of income

Both HR professionals and their employees severely underestimate the odds of becoming disabled

There's more, including the odds of becoming disabled and for how long. Recommended, and available here.

  Some good news and bad news on the ObamaTax front. First, the bad news (from its proponents' POV): voters favor repeal by a 22-point margin. One supposes that will only increase as we head into Fall, and the (scheduled) Exchange roll-out.

  And now the good news (for ObamaTax opponents): businesses are beginning to "get" just how bad this train-wreck is going to be, and more of them are looking to hop on the self-funded wagon:

"[H]ealth insurers are stepping up. Among their latest offerings: allowing ever-smaller companies to switch to a riskier form of coverage traditionally favored by big employers."

I'm sure Nate would disagree (as do I) with the "riskier" characterization, but the point is, going this route is likely to save some big dollars for employers.

There's a bit of irony here: way back in 2006, we had an exclusive interview with the folks at (now-defunct) ACMG, which was just then rolling out a self-funded program for smaller businesses. Kind of a shame that they were so far ahead of their time, but the post is a good introduction to how these plans work, and why they really aren't all that "risky."
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