The new health benefits landscape has changed the way employers approach providing health insurance to employees. One strategy we're seeing more of is the move toward self-funding health insurance. For a lot of employers, moving to a self-funded model makes sense. However, before they consider this route they need to ask the right questions and understand what they might be getting themselves into.

But first, what has spurred self-funding's increasing popularity? As with just about everything in the employee benefits industry, all signs point to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

PPACA imposed three new taxes; all three apply to fully insured plans but only two of them apply to self-insured plans. The one that doesn't is called the insurer's fee, which represents approximately 3.5 percent of an employer's premium, which can be significant.

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