Author Archives: Reeve Conover

Medicare for All

Its clear that Bernie Sanders is making “Medicare for All” the keystone in his push for the 2020 Democratic Nomination. The topic of guaranteeing health care for all Americans is popular so its a smart move on his part, and makes for easy sound bites.

“Together we are going to end the international embarrassment of the United States of America, our great country, being the only major nation on earth not to guarantee health care to all as a right,” Sanders said. “This is a struggle for the heart and soul of who we are as American people.” “Health care is a human right, not a privilege,” Sanders said at a Capitol Hill rally Wednesday.

The real battle here is about logistics and cost, however. you don’t hear much about that on the nightly news or the late-night talk shows. Most estimates, including democratic ones, indicate it ” could increase government spending on health care by more than $25 trillion. ” The liberterian Mercatus Center puts the price tag at 32.6 trillion over ten years. Sanders claims that the higher taxes paid by all would be balanced by what you would save on premiums and high deductibles. This discounts the fact that about 85% of the population has claims less than $2000 every year; they will still be paying much higher taxes.

The White House described the plan as a “total government takeover of health care that would actually hurt seniors, eliminate private health insurance for 180 million Americans, and cripple our economy and future generations with unprecedented debt.” The president has vowed the GOP will be the “party of great health care,” but has not provided a plan of his own.

Unfortunately, no one on either side has yet proposed any legislation that would be functional, reasonable priced, and actually solve some of the biggest issues in health care costs- prescription drug costs, fraud and skyrocketing malpractice costs. Our system is clearly broken, and cannot be fixed by soundbites, political parties or sweeping statements. IMHO its time this country figured this out.

Time to Update your pre-tax documents

Many employers are not aware that – if you take employee contributions on a pre-tax basis – that you are required to have a plan document. Changes in the last several years probably mean your document is outdated, unless you did it recently. Furthermore they are required to be updated every 10 years.

Your payroll company may have done this for you – but don’t count on it. I recently had an employer get called by their payroll company asking for a copy of the documents. They then offered to do it for an outrageous amount of money.

We have a service that you can get this done in about 10 minutes online for a $225 fee. We don’t make anything on it. If you have a need, just reach out to the office and we will behappy to point you in the right direction!

CIGNA to cap insulin prices

April 3, 2019 at 10:57 PM EDT – Updated April 4 at 11:38 AM

(CNN/Gray News) – A health insurer says a new program will help families who have to pay for lifesaving insulin.

Cigna announced Wednesday it’s launching the Patient Assurance Program.

According to the company, the plan will cap out-of-pocket expenses for a 30-day supply of insulin at $25.

People with Type 1 diabetes don’t produce it naturally in their body, and need it to regulate their blood sugar levels. Without it, they can die within days.

Cigna’s announcement comes a day after the Food and Drug Administration announced it would bring competition to the insulin market. The federal agency sees it as a way to lower prices.

On average, Cigna says patients paid nearly $42 a month in out-of-pocket expenses for the drug last year. That includes deductibles, co-pays, or coinsurance.

For the Full Article CLICK HERE

Because businesses dont pay enough…

2 Senate Democrats recently proposed legislation that would REQUIRE business to pay $0.50 per hour into an employee retirement savings account.

“Noting that 3 in 10 workers lack access to a workplace retirement plan and that 4 in 10 adults do not have enough liquid savings to pay a $400 emergency expense, Sens. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced legislation that calls for a hybrid emergency savings and 401(k)-type government-run program. Klobuchar is seeking her party’s nomination to run for president. ” (click here for more)

Lets examine this for a moment. For an employee making $10 an hour, thats a 5% employer contribution. At $15 an hour, its a 3.3% contribution. Currently SIMPLE IRA’s match 3% (there is no requirement for the employee to contribute in the bill), and Safe Harbor 401k plans match up to 4%.

As I see it – already being required in some states to raise hourly wages to $15 an hour, and then adding this in, changes the equation for employers substantially. Lets say an employer has 30 employees at $10 an hour currently, and are mandated to raise their employees just to $12 an hour, and add this contribution. Thats another $156,000 a year to the employer in expenses, a clearly unfunded mandate.

How will this get paid? Well the employer could eliminate 6 jobs to cover the expense. If they are in a business with, say, a 10% profit margin they would have to raise revenues by $1,560,000 just to cover this expense. So this either ends up with higher unemployment, or price inflation. This stuff isn’t free, folks.

“…doing away with traditional insurance”

The words of the CEO of pinterest, citing being “fed up with the healthcare system…” as well. They, like a growing number of companies, are switching away from traditional coverage, and opting for self-funded or level funded plans.

“Nobody remembers how good health benefits are on paper, but everyone remembers what the experience is like,” says Alice Vichaita, head of global benefits at Pinterest. “Despite all our effort and thoughtfulness, the traditional health insurance experience was letting us down.”

When you are a relatively health company, you end up paying more than you need to. We operate on the assumption that all those premiums are needed to pay claims, and sometimes they are. However in my experience claims typically run around 70% of the money set aside for them. Who gets the remaining 30%? The Insurance company keeps it.

With Self-funded or Level-funded plans, you begin with lower premiums and a lower claims pool, and you share in any funds unspent at the end of the contract.

For the full article, click here.

August 2019
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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. - SIPC - Brokercheck