Author Archives: Reeve Conover

Medicare for all?

Senator Tim Kaine recently released a bill called “Medicare X”- to allow people to decide if they like Medicare better than the other options. He says it will “increase competition and drive down health care costs.” The cynic in me also assumes you could keep your current plan and doctor if you like them…

So here is the obvious question- Medicare is funded by the medicare tax – 2.9% total split between employee and employer… for your entire working life. Therefore, Medicare Part A is free and Part B costs most folks $135 a month. How will this be paid for? Consider that most models at least suggest that Medicare is underfunded, and claims trends continue at between 7-8% per year.

I think that most people, if they could get a $2000 deductible health plan, that allowed them to use any MD, for $135.50 a month, would jump on the opportunity. I know I would. Just very unclear on hows it going to be funded.

Lowering your costs? Think differently!

In general, business owners and brokers are stuck in a rut. They believe they are stuck at the mercy of the few insurance companies out there, stuck with yet another huge increase, high deductibles and marginal service. And they are – until they think differently.

If you are a small business with 10-100 employees, primarily healthy, with a younger population, there may be a solution. The last 4 new clients we have brought on board have saved 15-20% on their premium, and improved their benefits.

How is this possible? Its called Level Funding. Essentially its unbundling all the services your current carrier provides, and finding less expensive ways to do each part- network access, hospital discounts, administration, service, etc. Its being able to participate in the savings in a good year – rather than the insurance company pocketing those funds. Its gaining control over your benefit design.

Give us a call if this intrigues you.

SMALL BUSINESS BENEFITS DONE RIGHT!

Judge strikes down association health plans

From The PBS News Hour, click here for the full article:

WASHINGTON — A federal judge has struck down a small-business health insurance plan widely touted by President Donald Trump, marking the second setback in a week for the administration’s health care initiatives.

U.S. District Judge John D. Bates wrote in his opinion late Thursday that so-called “association health plans” were “clearly an end-run” around consumer protections required by the Obama-era Affordable Care Act.

On Wednesday, another federal judge blocked the Trump administration’s Medicaid work requirements for low-income people.

The plans at issue in Bates’ ruling Thursday allow groups of small businesses and sole proprietors to band together to offer lower-cost coverage that doesn’t have to include all the benefits required by the ACA, often called “Obamacare.” They also can be offered across state lines, an attempt to deliver on a major Trump campaign promise.

Our system is broken- Part 14

Recent studies show that 65 million adults had a health care issue last year, but didnt seek care because of the cost. 12.5% of the population borrowed money to cover health care costs, paying $88 billion. As a country we spent an average of $10,700 a person on healthcare.

And while everyone in DC talks about it, and has a different viewpoint on it, most of them seem clearly politically motivated. Most of the suggestions work on the fringe of the problem. Obamacare didnt address some of the biggest inflation monsters- prescription costs, malpractice and tort reform, and medical fraud.

To read the entire article, click here

401k Litigation Update

In 2016 and 2017, 107 complaints were filed with the DOL about 401k plans. This is the most since 2008-2009 according to Retirement Study done at Boston College.

Some things are obvious- when markets fall, complaints tend to rise. These complains tend to fall with plans that were not being paid enough attention to typically, and resulted in “hundreds of millions of dollars in settlements…”

Further, the complaints are typically “obvious and preventable. What are the primary complaints:

  1. Neglecting to have and follow prudent fiduciary policies, procedures and practices.
  2. Failing to mitigate conflicts of interest
  3. Offering inappropriate investment choices
  4. Lacking required transparency

The time to adjust your behavior is before complaints and problems occur, of course. A common theme in the study is that as soon as lawsuits and investigations start, everyone starts getting educated on their fiduciary duties, but thats too late. Also note that these issues are not about investment advice, but about fiduciary processes, so if you have an investment adviser, thats just not enough!

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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