BenefitsPRO Magazine-August 2011

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  • Making a mountain out of McKinsey

    Brad Warrick

    What these analysts ignore, however, are other factors that would significantly increase the true costs of terminating coverage. For instance, an employer would have to increase wages to make up for revoking coverage or risk losing some of its most valuable employees. The tax consequences of this wage increase and...

  • Recession hampers voluntary sales

    Bonnie Brazzell, Gil Lowerre

    In last months column, we looked at overall voluntary sales for 2010. In this edition, we analyze the results further by looking at product line sales as well as platform.

  • Cook: What I've learned

    Denis Storey

    Troy J. Cook, vice president-client account executiveMarsh U.S. Consumer, Urbandale, Iowa

  • Blame it on the five-percenters

    Denis Storey

    Its really easy to toss numbers around. I know that. And, apparently, so do the nerds over at McKinsey and Co.

  • Optimism is a broker's best bet

    Alan Katz

    Health care reform is bringing dramatic changes to our industry, our profession and our businesses. No breaking news there.

  • TPAs find a silver lining

    Sharon Alt

    Its been a rough couple of years for insurance agents best case, health reform will drastically change the way brokers do business; worst case, brokers might have their commissions slashed and find that the new insurance exchanges can quickly and easily perform many of the services they offer clients...

  • Some surveys are more equal than others

    Kathryn Mayer

    A number theorist might not even understand all the figures being thrown out from every consulting firm these days. Depending on whos telling you, health reform will be responsible for employers dropping health coverage in record numbers, thus forcing employees to leave their cushy plans; it will be responsible for...

  • Should employers drop coverage in 2014?

    Eric Johnson

    In June, giant consulting firm McKinsey & Co. released a report declaring 30 percent of employers are likely to drop their health coverage in 2014 as a result of health care reform.

  • Report: 5 percent responsible for half of US spending

    Kathryn Mayer

    About 5 percent of the population is responsible for almost half of all health care spending in the United States and for rising premium rates, according to a new report from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation.

  • Make communication a part of your strategy

    Katie Kuehner-Hebert

    As the competitive landscape for benefits brokers gets tougher, effectively communicating benefits strategies with clientsand helping them better communicate those strategies with their employees becomes even more critical.

  • Bad business or bad reform?

    Kathryn Mayer

    So lets bring up health care again: No matter how you look at it, some employers are dropping employee coverage, or they plan to, or fear its going to happen. And everyone involved is fearing it, too. But was reform legislation really the tipping point, or is itand always has...

  • Stop-loss becomes a go

    Ingrid Case

    Ten years ago, benefits self-funding and the stop-loss coverage that typically accompanies it was a world occupied mainly by large employers.

  • Paid sick days reduce health costs

    Heather Trese

    A new study from the Institute for Womens Policy Research finds that giving employees access to paid sick days reduces visits to hospital emergency rooms, saving $1 billion every year.

  • NAIC backs away from MLR bill

    Kathryn Mayer

    Disheartening some brokers, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has backed away from supporting a congressional bill that could exclude insurance agent compensation from medical loss ratio calculations.

  • Vendorship vs. partnership

    Marty Traynor

    One of the bright spots in Omaha, Neb., every June is the College World Series. Its a great sporting event that attracts thousands from around the country, including dozens of brokers who specialize in selling benefits.

  • Say goodbye to commissions?

    Amanda McGrory-Dixon

    Between the latest commission regulations and uncertain employer attitudes, brokers are looking at a new health insurance landscape, and many are wondering if there's still a place for them in the market.

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