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Health Insurance Market Dominated by a Handful of Carriers

Those who oppose the single-payer health insurance plan promoted by Bernie Sanders in his 2016 presidential campaign, and supported by most Democratic candidates in the 2020 race, often argue that competition is good for the market; it helps improve quality and reduce costs because consumers shop with their wallets. Many insurance agents would agree with this assessment: competition, in most cases, is good for consumers. However, what is often left unsaid in the conversation about competition in the health insurance industry is that it doesn’t really exist, at least not to the extent that we would like to believe it does.
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Freelancers Need Health Insurance

The world is changing. More and more people are working from home, doing side jobs, and trying desperately not to spend their lives “working for the man.” How much is the freelance workforce growing? A lot. According to a recent report by Fiverr, an online marketplace for freelance services, there are “approximately 57.3 million freelancers in the US currently contributing $1.4 trillion to the economy,” and “it is anticipated that freelancers and independent workers will make up the majority of the workforce in the US within 10 years.”
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Smooth Sailing for the Next Three Years

A presidential election year can seem like a time of uncertainty. The current President is trying to hang on to his job while other candidates—in this case, a couple dozen other candidates—are busy explaining all the things that they will change if they are able to unseat him. Other elected officials are up for re-election as well, so there are plenty of proposals and promises and criticisms and sound bites. With all of the noise, it’s easy to understand why people are unsure about what will happen in the months and years ahead.
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Multi-Part Health Plans

Back in the good old days—just a few short years ago—it was possible to sell clients a health plan that checked all of the boxes:
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The $500 FSA Rollover is Not Automatic

Employees love Flexible Spending Accounts, or FSAs. These tax-advantaged accounts give them the ability to set aside tax-free dollars to pay for qualified medical expenses, similar to an HSA. Unlike an HSA, though, an FSA can be paired with any type of health plan, including plans with up-front copayments for doctor visits and prescriptions. The drawback, of course, is the “use it or lose it” rule; employees whose FSA contributions exceed their annual medical costs must either go on a spending spree at the end of the year or risk losing any unspent funds.
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Medicare for All and the 2020 Election

Back in 2007, three years before the Affordable Care Act was signed into law, Michael Moore released his film “Sicko” to highlight what he saw as the flaws in our for-profit healthcare system and advocate for a single-payer, Medicare-for-All solution in the United States. Moore was a supporter of H.R. 676, the Medicare-for-All bill introduced by Senator John Conyers (D-MI) that was picking up some steam at the time.
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President Trump’s Executive Order to Expand HSAs

On June 24, 2019, President Trump signed an executive order that would, among other things, make it easier for consumers to choose an HSA-compatible High Deductible Health Plan, expand the definition of preventive care under this type of plan, and expand the list of HSA-eligible expenses.
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New Tool Compares Medicare-for-All Proposals

One of the problems in DC is that, instead of working together to develop a plan to fix our broken health care system, nearly everyone develops their own plan so that they can take credit for it. That certainly seems to be the case among the nearly two dozen Democrats running for President. Most, but not all, support some version of Medicare expansion, but those who do support the idea are far from being on the same page.
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New Star Rating System for Marketplace Plans

In an August 15, 2019 news release, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services announced that, beginning with the 2020 Open Enrollment Period, CMS “will require the display of the five-star Quality Rating System (or star ratings) available nationwide for health plans offered on the Health Insurance Exchanges.”
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How to Determine When Medicare is Primary

About a year ago, we posted an article about Medicare Premium Reimbursement Arrangements, which allow small employers to pay for the Medicare Part B, Part D, and supplement premiums for their active employees. As explained in the article, the employer cannot force older employees off of the group plan (they have the same enrollment rights as all other full-time employees), but it can often be a win-win solution for both the employer and the employee.
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