April Edwards Affordable health insurance rates - Part 2
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Health Reform Not Having Much Impact On Colorado Premiums
Health insurance rate increases happen every year, for just about every policy in the individual market. Although the increases we’ve seen this year are similar to what we’ve seen over the last several years, there have been more questions since the PPACA was signed into law in March about whether federal health care reform is the driving factor for this year’s increases.
To clarify, the Colorado Division of Insurance has released a statement noting that federal health reform is responsible for less than 5% of the total health insurance premium increase in Colorado this year. Commissioner Marcy Morrison noted:
“What we found isn’t surprising: health insurance premiums continue to rise. But what m
Health Savings Accounts: Five Things You Need To Know
More and more companies are switching to high-deductible plans that can be combined with tax-advantaged Health Savings Accounts to cover medical bills. Such plans usually have premiums of 10 to 40 percent less than traditional plans. Approximately 45 percent of large companies offer this option, and that’s an increase of 25 percent from 2007, according to the human resources firm Towers Watson.
To pay for health care, you can deposit pretax dollars into your Health Savings Account of up to $3,050 for individuals in 2011, or $6,150 for families, plus an extra $1,000 if you’re 55 or older. Your employer may also contribute, and any unused funds roll over year after year to earn tax-free interest. W
Mega And Mid-West Being Investigated Again
A west coast legal firm has launched an investigation into the market conduct of Mega Life and Health Insurance Company and Mid-West National Life Insurance Company. Their parent company, HealthMarkets, Inc., is also being investigated, along with the two shareholders (Blackstone Group, L.P. and Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.) who purchased HealthMarkets in 2006 for $850 million.
This is not the first time that Mega, Mid-West and HealthMarkets have come under regulatory scrutiny. In 2003, the Colorado Division of Insurance fined Mega and Mid-West $75,000 each (see page 9 of the Colorado Regulator from the spring of 2003). T
Health Savings Accounts Are Profitable For Credit Unions
Health saving accounts that work in conjunction with high-deductible health insurance plans are not just growing in popularity among employee groups, individuals and families. Forty-five percent of employers already offer high-deductible health insurance that’s qualified to work with health savings accounts.
Even more employers are expected to offer health savings account (HSA) plans in the down economy. This increase in popularity positions credit unions to increase their share of the HSA-plan market.
Because HSA plans are increasing being sought by individuals and employers, HSA plans can boost credit union memberships, deepen their financial relationships with clients and provide additional earnings.
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