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Lower Your Healthcare Costs with Medicare Cost Plus By: Devon Bellamy, Axion RMS Medicare Cost Plus plans result in annual claims savings of around $150,000 – $200,000 per 100 employees for employers.”   Self-insured medical plan groups are becoming very prevalent – however, they are still experiencing increases in per capita medical costs that greatly exceed Consumer Price Index. A Medicare Cost Plus (MCP) plan may be a solution that fits your company’s needs in order to combat the rising costs of healthcare.   An MCP is a progressive healthcare plan that uses a Medicare pricing model for claims reimbursement. On average, these plans will pay 120% of the cost of Medicare pricing for certain doctor visits and procedures as opposed to the 150 – 250% of traditional PPOs.   Administrative costs under an MCP should be lower due to the lack of network access fees. In addition, employers should see stop loss premium savings because of the lower level of allowed charges which in turn reduces the insurance carrier’s liability.   Employee education is key in implementing an effective MCP. The issue lies in the fact that without pre-negotiated provider reimbursements or discounts, some providers are unwilling to accept […]

Narrow Networks: A Cost Efficient Alternative By: Devon Bellamy, Axion RMS Imagine you are the CFO or CEO of a mid-sized company in Chicago and you had the opportunity to save $6.25 million dollars in the next five years. How would you do it?   With insurance premiums expected to increase an average of 8.5% per year between 2016 and 2018, Axion Risk Management Strategies (RMS) has implemented Narrow Network strategies to “bend trend”.   Narrow and high-performance networks refer to a specialized, smaller group of health care providers who offer comprehensive medical services and reduced pricing. These preferred provider (PPO) networks are usually regionally based, with a limited number of participating hospitals, outpatient facilities and physicians.   They also allow employers to steer employees to high quality providers and negotiate lower costs with insurers, resulting in an average savings of 15-20% over nationwide PPO networks. Furthermore, narrow PPO networks still allow employees the flexibility of visiting a non-participating healthcare provider, provided they have higher deductibles and out of pocket maximums.   Axion RMS can help you implement a narrow network strategy to help you achieve your $6.25 million dream. Contact us today to learn more.

Benefits Bulletin – 1st Quarter

Benefits Bulletin is a quarterly newsletter that covers hot benefit topics in depth. This issue includes information about the updated employee benefits plan limits for 2018, health plan reporting, the proposed benefits and payment parameters for 2019 and pay or play enforcement guidance. UPDATED—This newsletter has been updated to include the furnishing deadline extension for ACA reporting made effective by IRS Notice 2018-06, which was issued on Dec. 22, 2017. Benefits Bulletin – 1st Quarter 2018

Preventing Workplace Harassment

Following several high-profile news reports of workplace harassment in 2017, the EEOC issued a list of best practices for employers to use in their workplaces to prevent harassment. This Compliance Overview provides a summary to assist you with your own practices. Preventing Workplace Harassment 12.17

House and Senate Pass tax Reform BIll

On Dec. 20, 2017, the tax reform bill, called the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives. The bill is now expected to be signed into law by President Trump shortly. This News Brief provides an overview of the tax reform bill and its potential impact on employers. House and Senate Pass Tax Reform Bill 12.20.17

IRS Announces Benefit Plan Limits for 2018

The IRS recently announced cost-of-living adjustments to the annual dollar limits for various welfare and retirement plan limits for 2018. Although some of the limits will remain the same, many of the limits will increase for 2018. This Compliance Bulletin summarizes the newly released benefit plan limits for 2018. IRS Announces Benefit Plan Limits for 2018

ACA 2018 Compliance Checklist

Several ACA requirements will be affected by changes that take effect in 2018, such as increased dollar limits and decreased affordability percentages. To prepare for 2018, employers should review upcoming requirements and develop a compliance strategy. This ACA Overview provides an ACA compliance checklist for 2018. ACA 2018 Compliance Checklist

0% Renewal in Year One

In the midst of receiving massive medical plan increases, this educational institution was seeking alternative solutions to reducing costs or cutting departmental funding. Lack of risk management were leading to six figure increases year over year, causing the group to take action to mitigate out of control cost increases.

5 Ways to Mitigate High Cost Claims By: Alexander Koglin, Benefits Consultant, Axion RMS While America waits for the Trump administration to deliver the change to healthcare that in part elected him, the reality is that high costs are here, and immediate action is necessary. According to The Kiplinger Letter, 10% of patients currently account for 65% of health costs. While we wait for our political leaders to act on lowering healthcare costs, here are 5 things you can do to mitigate high cost claims. Partial Self-Funding  Think of it this way—when paying an insurer, you’re not only paying for claims incurred, but the administration, overhead, and profit of the insurer. When employers partially self-fund their healthcare plan, they pay for claims and small administration fees, cutting out the cost of the middleman. Even with the addition of stop-loss insurance, costs are dramatically reduced. The icing on the cake? Increased transparency, plan reporting, and customization. Reference-Based Pricing One of the many hidden gems of partial self-funding, reference based pricing, allows you to set reimbursement rates for drugs and other medical costs based on accepted standards, such as Medicare reimbursement rates. In our experience, companies conservatively save $150,000 for every 100 […]

  Financial Wellness: How it Impacts the Health of Employees By: Brandon Collins, Axion RMS What is a Financial Wellness Program? Workplace wellness programs first rose to prominence in the late 1980s. The original design of the programs addressed physical and mental well-being for employees through lifestyle and disease management. According to IBIS World, a leader in industry market research, the wellness industry generates nearly $6 billion in revenue. While physical and mental health are important for employees, an emerging topic the last several years is financial wellness. These programs include retirement planning, debt management, budgeting, and investing to name a few. A recent CNBC article reported 55% of companies offer one of these financial wellness programs to employees. In 2017, this number is expected to increase to 77% with 52% offering at least 3 of these programs.   What are the benefits of a Financial Wellness Program? Financial stress could be more harmful than poor lifestyles and chronic diseases when it comes to workplace productivity and health. GoBankingRates.com found 70% of employees have less than $1,000 in savings and 34% have no money saved. PwC conducted a financial wellness survey in April of 2016. 50% of workers said they […]