New opportunities for small business planning
(This post is speculative based on an announcement that is expected in the near future. The content is therefore valid only if regulations are changed as predicted).
Later this week the Trump administration is expected to roll back range of restrictive regulations on health insurance that will open the door to new opportunities for saving. These are actuarial principles that Freedom Benefits has endorsed since the 1980s.
The core concept is shockingly refreshing: small businesses should focus on serving the immediate needs of their most productive workers. The new regulations allow and even encourage small business employers from trying to solve all of our ailing health car system’s woes. That means giving up and releasing outlier health care risks. It means analyzing and addressing the core medical needs of your small group of employees.
The new plans will make broad use of short term medical insurance for new or transient employees who do not have pre-existing medical conditions. This one change can save an average of half of the insurance cost compared to Obamacare era health plans.
Small businesses will again be attracted to limited benefit mini-med insurance that focus on the “sweet spot” of medical costs incurred by the majority of employees. The most important difference is that they eliminate the deductibles that employees hate. These plans are priced at least 15% lower than traditional major medical plans but have some glaring holes in coverage, like prescription drugs, that some people have come to expect. Fortunately today’s flexible small business health plans like those offered by Freedom Benefits allow individual employees can weigh the pros and cons on an individual basis.
High tech, construction and agricultural businesses that traditionally rely on temporary international workers will save money by using insurance that is specifically designed for inbound immigrants.
Most importantly, employers will be empowered to design health benefits that are independent of insurance companies. Health Reimbursement Arrangements, Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts will play a larger role for employers who want to take control and directly address employees’ health care concerns. Freedom Benefits offerers these customized plans on an affordable basis that fit the budget of small business employers.
Plain and simple: this dramatic spending shift is screwing every other sector of our economy. WSJ: “health-care spending across the economy reached 18.2% of gross domestic product as of June, up from 13.3% in 2000”. The Affordable Care Act was clearly and deliberately designed to accelerate the spending trend, despite the political rhetoric about cost savings.
Muhlenberg College researchers released the results of a new poll conducted through phone interviews with 403 adults in Pennsylvania from Feb. 27 to March 7. The results show evolving attitudes on health-related issues.
On politics and ACA:
16% hold a “very unfavorable” view of the ACA, or Obamacare (half of what was previously reported)
56% of Pennsylvanians polled said that ACA made no difference in their lives.
75% disapprove of Congress’ handling of health care (as opposed to the President’s handling).
45% view obesity as a public health issue (increased from 38% in an earlier poll).
48% support taxing junk food
70% favor packaged food warning labels.
80% favor fast-food calorie count labels.
On other issues:
56% of Pennsylvanians polled said the federal government should fund Planned Parenthood, versus 31 percent who said it shouldn’t.
2/3 of Pennsylvanians polled now reject the mistaken link between autism and vaccinations.
The nine key findings as reported:
- Pennsylvanians are split nearly equally in terms of their satisfaction with the quality of health care in the nation with 49% of Pennsylvanians reporting they are satisfied with heath care and 51% dissatisfied with this aspect of life in the United States.
- Residents of the state are evenly divided on President Obama’s handling of health care in the nation but overwhelmingly disapprove of Congress’s handling of this policy area.
- By over a 3 to 1 margin (49% to 15%) Commonwealth residents report positive over negative views about Planned Parenthood.
- A majority of Pennsylvanians indicate that the federal government should continue to provide funds to Planned Parenthood.
- Keystone State residents are equally divided in terms of support for a tax on tax on junk food such as soda, chips, and candy, with 48% supporting such a tax and 49% opposing this option.
- Pennsylvanian views on the complete legalization of marijuana in the state remain fairly stable over the past three years with 39% in favor of legalization and 38% opposed to such a measure.
- Three out of four Commonwealth residents believe that heroin abuse in the United States is a very serious problem.
- Over half of Pennsylvanians personally know someone who has been addicted to heroin or another opiate.
- A majority of Keystone State residents now strongly disagree with the claim that the chances of a child getting autism are increased if they receive the recommended childhood immunizations.
The poll results are posted at https://assets.documentcloud.org/documents/2772917/PUBHealth2016-Final-Freq.pdf