Author Archives: Reeve Conover

Workplace Wellness? Not so fast…

While these programs are all the rage, and an $8 billion industry, the Journal of the American Medical Association recently found “… they don’t cut costs for employers, reduce absenteeism or improve workers’ health.”

While they did get workers to exhibit more health behaviors, there were no measurable medical indicators showing improved health. Further it didn’t change how much employers pay for health care, abseentism rates, job performance, or employee retention.

“Biggest Threat to the American Health Care System”

Thats what Seema Verma calls “medicare for all.” Who is she? Well besides being the prior CEO of a health policy consulting firm, Health Management Associates – she is the Director of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

Why does the Director of Medicare feel this way?
 “What we’re talking about is stripping people of their private health insurance, forcing them into a government-run program.”

But Verma noted that socialized health care systems in other countries have problems of their own — including long wait times and poor care — leading citizens to travel to the U.S. for drugs and care they can’t access at home.

“So this is a bureaucracy that’s going to be making decisions about everybody’s healthcare, what kind of benefits they can have, what kind of medications that they can have access to,” she said. “And if we look at other socialized countries that have tried this approach, what do we see there? Long wait times, poor quality health care and that’s why those people are flying to the United States to get their health care.”

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

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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