This page includes news and tips for small business owners who provide employee benefits as well as self-employed people for provide their own coverage. Freedom Benefits provides compensation and benefits planning advice to cut costs, save on employer and employee taxes, improve value received, increase employee satisfaction and speed up wealth building for plan participants.
Individual major medical insurance enrollment for 2018 is open from November 1 through December 15, 2017 at the federal government’s insurance web site. You can see plans and rates without creating an online account here. We offer limited free personal support with questions through OnlineNavigatorTM service.
Short term options, dental coverage, supplemental insurance and other health benefit plans are available through multiple sources. We suggest Smart Insurance Marketplace as the first place to look. Telephone and email support is available.
Freedom Benefits small business employee benefit plans now allow for inclusion of a wider range of options including: 1) Group or Individual Health Insurance, 2) Health Savings Account, 3) Preferred Provider Discount Pricing Service (including prescription drugs at over 45,000 pharmacies nationwide, Telehealth for facetime or call to a physician 24/7, Karis360 Suite of services including Healthcare Navigator, Surgery Saver and Bill Negotiator), 4) Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 5) Special Purpose Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 6) Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement, 7) Flexible Spending Account including Dependent Care Plan. 8) 401(k) Plan, 9) Pension Plan, 10) IRA or SEP Retirement Savings Plan, 11) Deferred Compensation Plan, 12) Thrift Savings Plan, 13) Employee Home Office Expense Reimbursement Plan, 14) Employee Travel Expenses Reimbursement Plan, 15) Employee Commuter Mass Transit and Parking Expense Reimbursement Plan, 16) Employee Work-Related Expense Reimbursement Plan, and 17) Other benefits specified by the employer.
2/16/2018 A health care “war” in Pittsburg between UPMC and Highmark could prove to be an early indication of the direction of the national health care industry in the near future. The fundamental question: do we want or need health insurers separate from heath care providers? The two have opposite goals: heath care provider typically want to maximize utilization which raises costs while health insurers typically want to minimize costs. Medical spending in Pittsburg seems to be growing faster than average and some observers say that this duel for market dominance between two giant health care companies is not creating effective competition, The division between health insurer and health care provider is gone and the market now looks more like a two party political system. The Washington Post covers the story in more depth.
12/1/2017 Data on diabetes: The Lehigh Valley Business Coalition on Healthcare reports that the Greater Lehigh Valley has more people of working age who have type 2 diabetes compared to the rest of Pennsylvania and the country. Their data also shows that far too many diagnosed diabetics are not receiving their annual diabetes checks.