New BCBSIL Application Effective 4/1/18

March 21, 2018

BCBSIL has communicated in The News from the Blues that as of 4/1/18 they are no longer accepting the Illinois Standard Health Employee Application for new OR existing business. Please make sure you and your clients are using only the new form starting 4/1/18. The new form can be found on our website with the name of 2018 Employee Enrollment/Change Form.

At this time BCBSIL is still accepting the one page Enrollment Change Request Form to make any minor changes on a member’s account, but we do think in the future they will switch to the new form for all transactions.

As a reminder Group Administrators and brokers can process the application on Blue Access for Employers (BAE) in most instances. This would be a good time to help your willing clients better acquaint themselves with BAE.

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Webinar – Washington Update

March 9, 2018

Blair Farwell and Jennifer Clow just returned from spending three days on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC with the National Association of Health Underwriters. Resource Brokerage will be hosting a webinar to discuss:

Topics:

  • Now that Repeal and Replace is no longer being pursued in Washington, what are the current legislative goals of our industry in order to stabilize markets?
  • What are the real world incremental changes we can make to bring rate and market stability back to the health insurance markets?
  • What should you as an insurance agent be doing now?
  • What are the valuable talking points that you can discuss with your clients when they ask you, “What are the solutions?  What’s next?” for health insurance reform?
  • What are the current potential threats to the health insurance market/industry that are being explored in Washington, DC as of today?

Tuesday, March 20, 2018 1:00pm-2:00pm
Thursday, March 22, 2018 10:00am-11:00am


Have you protected your individual commissions through year end?

January 25, 2018

Have you protected your individual commissions through year end?

Producer SEP affirmations must be completed by 2/15/18.

Please send us a print screen when your Attestation successfully posts for our records.  You will receive a Success page with “Your confirmation number is 1-xxxxxxxx”.


Webinar – 2014 BCBSIL Group Renwal Landscape

May 20, 2014

Two Sessions! June 11th and 12th.

Topics:

  • An in-depth review of the 2014 Group renewal environment
  • What to expect as a broker
  • What should brokers be doing right now to be prepared for the 12/1-1/1 renewal season

Full Details


Legislative Update: The Next Steps

November 15, 2013

On November 14th, President Obama made an announcement that all
NON-GRANDFATHERED POLICIES that are being canceled as a result of the Affordable Care Act would get a one-year extension and in fact WOULD NOT be canceled as of 12/31/2013.

We have already been in touch with all our carriers. The carriers are aware of the development and are eagerly awaiting the formal regulations that will provide them the exact rules/regulations in order to be able to administer the new changes.

Read the Full Update


New Premium Taxes Starting to Come into the Picture

October 24, 2012

I would like to take a moment and educate the first round of premium taxes that are going to start in 2014 with the PPACA law.  Obviously, the carriers are beginning to get their arms around the PPACA law, their responsibilities, processes and pricing implications.  This article was written about a year ago but is as relevant today as it was then (PPACA:  Business Groups Unite Against Health Insurance Tax).

Now that carriers are beginning to calculate the cost of the tax, it is turning out the article was way low in quoting the “approximate $500 cost over 10 years”.  It is actually more like $630 for a single and FOUR TIMES THAT for a family of 4 meaning that a family will be paying $2,520 over 10 years (as the tax is a per head tax).  This is just the beginning of the cost increases once the essential benefits, the removal of underwriting, riders, and the rate compression of 1:3 (from the current 1:6 in IL) are taken into account (in addition to the above referenced taxes).  We are hearing rumblings of “approaching 100% increases” in the IL market for the under 30 crowd in the individual market (mind you the highest uninsured demographic).  The highly trumpeted signature healthcare legislation is not going to turn out to be as rosy as the Obama administration is leading us to believe.  We have gotten all the “goodies” upfront (coverage to age 26, no lifetime caps, promises of no riders and guaranteed issue); there will come a time when we begin to see the downside.  I must hand it to the administration as they have done a great job of “hiding” these future inevitable developments (as the law is currently written), but I wanted to let you know what we are seeing, sitting across the table from senior management of the insurance companies.  Do not forget the MLR (where insurance companies are required to pay out 80% of their premiums in claims for the individual or small group markets, otherwise they will have to refund them to the block of insureds).  These numbers are projected to be straight claims/tax implications of the legislation.  These are very real things to ponder as we consider who to vote for.  The “Affordable Care Act” (as the administration has renamed the law) is clearly not making healthcare any more affordable once the “lion’s share of the mandates” start hitting home.


This Misleading Cost of the American Healthcare System

September 6, 2012

Click here for the latest review of America’s health:  http://www.healthcarefinancenews.com/infographic/infographic-why-america-must-address-rising-costs-healthcare

Sometimes medical “pundits” miss the point.  Healthcare is about choices.  Many Americans are not making healthy choices, our sodas are getting larger, our lines in drive thru’s are getting longer (we don’t even get out of the car anymore) and there is a fast food place on every corner of every city.  Our schools are cutting Physical Education to save money and our obesity rates (children as well as adults) are exploding in this country.  If you did not know, click on this link (http://bunow.com/17082-american-obesity-rates-soar).  Scroll to the bottom and take a look at the map of the United States.  In short, in many states, 1 out of 5 people have a body mass index (BMI) of greater than 30!  If you do not know what a BMI of 30 is, that is a CLINICAL DEFINITION of obese– which is two scales above “acceptable” (http://www-users.med.cornell.edu/~spon/picu/calc/bmicalc.htm).

Everybody should know that obesity dramatically raises your risk of diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, heart conditions, strokes, back and joint ailments and certain forms of cancer are all elevated exponentially.  People also should know all of those conditions cost “the system” A LOT of money in terms of medications, doctor office visits and complications (for those that get real out of control).  Studies show more than $1,152 PER PERSON (http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2012/04/30/obesity-now-costs-americans-more-in-healthcare-costs-than-smoking/), not to mention it shaves years off your life expectancy.

I always find it intriguing that the “pundits” sit down and bash our healthcare cost, quality and life expectancy with studies like this when they solely look at health utilzation/costs/life expectancy without taking into consideration the “beginning state” (or starting point) of the patient’s health status that our doctors are forced to treat. I would argue this entire exercise is a worthless, misleading endeavor.  I sincerely hope our policy makers do not focus on “out of context graphs” like these to make the determinations as in reality we have a long way to go in this country as citizens, those personally accountable for our own health fate, before we start making Draconian cuts (or sweeping policy changes) to a system because our “results” do not match those of the other countries.  I would love to see an average body index (just for starters) of the competing countries next to a study like this to see where these other countries match up against ours.  I suspect the other countries listed have nowhere near 1 in 5 people and in a substantial portion of their country 1 in 4 people rated as clinically obese.   I suspect none of them are having the issues which appear to be unique to the “super sizing of America”.

The most brilliant, gifted, efficient MD in the world cannot counteract the effects of a patient who does not accept accountability nor participate in the process of their care. For example, the smoker that has emphysema and refuses to quit (or at this point ANY smoker based on the wealth of information of the related smoking complications) or the diabetic that refuses to check their blood levels, start an exercise routine, or attempt to attain “clinically sound” body weights.

It is not the healthcare delivery system that is the entire problem–it is not the doctors’ faults–in many cases, it is our lifestyle!  Until the “pundits” and the American people recognize their responsibility in the healthcare delivery system and, more importantly, do something about it to reverse this tragic trend, we can only look forward to higher premiums, higher admission/readmission rates and increasingly lower life expectancies.