In the News

Fast Facts

Posted: February 2, 2018

  • President Trump delivered his first State of the Union Address on Tuesday, promoting the benefit of eliminating the ACA's individual mandate penalties effective in 2019.
  • CMS released its annual Medicare Advantage rate guidance and is calling for new feedback on the employer plans after drastic cuts were tabled last year.
  • NAHU's Washington Update podcast wants your input on how we can improve the podcast experience.
 

Thank You to Our Day at the Capitol Sponsors!

Posted: February 2, 2018

Presenting and Badge Sponsor: 

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Healthcare Spending For People Covered By Employers Increased In 2016 Due To Rising Prices, Data Indicate.

Posted: January 26, 2018

The Wall Street Journal  (1/23, Whalen, Subscription Publication) reports that healthcare spending for Americans with employer-sponsored coverage rose in 2016 even though their usage decreased, according to an analysis conducted by the Health Care Cost Institute.

The Hill  (1/23, Hellmann) reports that spending on healthcare “has increased because prices are rising, not because Americans are using more health care,” according to an analysis conducted by the Health Care Cost Institute. Data show “total health-care spending grew by 4.6 percent per person from 2015 to 2016 even as utilization of services remained steady, or declined in some cases.” Consequently, “health-care spending per person reached a new high of $5,407 in 2016.”

The Miami Herald  (1/23, Chang) reports the analysis revealed that working Americans paid more for healthcare “every year from 2012 to 2016 – mostly due to double-digit price hikes for brand-name prescription drugs, inpatient surgeries and emergency room visits.” For the study, HCCI examined “more than 4 billion insurance claims for about 39 million people younger than 65 who were covered through their jobs.”

Modern Healthcare  (1/23, Livingston, Subscription Publication) reports that overall, per capita healthcare spending grew by 15% from 2012 to 2016.

 

NAHU Calls On Congress To Remove Broker Commissions From The ACA’s Medical Loss Ratio

Posted: January 19, 2018

NAHU called on members to take action on our latest Operation Shout to ask Congress to support legislation to remove broker commissions from the ACA’s medical loss ratio. Yesterday, Senators Johnny Isakson (R-GA) and Chris Coons (D-DE) introduced S. 2303, joining Representatives Billy Long (R-MO) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR) who introduced H.R. 4575 last month. These bills would remove independent agent and broker compensation from the definition of “administrative expense” from the Medical Loss Ratio (MLR) calculation. The MLR regulation has caused carriers to reduce the commissions of agents and brokers, which has led to a reduction in consumer access to crucial services provided by insurance producers on a daily basis. Treating broker commissions as a pass-through expense will protect jobs and preserve the critical role of agents and brokers and ensure that insurers would be better equipped to compete in the marketplace.

NAHU has long advocated that the MLR should treat broker commissions as pass-through expenses for the following reasons:

• Commissions are set by insurers but not paid by the insurers. Commissions are paid by the client and passed through carrier to the agent. While carriers currently collect agent compensation along with the regular premium, these funds are passed directly to the broker.

• Commissions are paid to health insurance agents and brokers for the enrollment and on-going service they provide to consumers throughout the duration of their policy.

• As a result of agent compensation being included in the cost of MLR, brokers servicing the individual and small business markets are seeing their compensation slashed by as much as 50%.

• Individuals and employers across the country are relying on their health insurance agent to help them understand and comply with health reform for their business, their employees, and themselves.

• The MLR has caused serious harm to the insurance market as it has inhibited the number of insurers willing to write health insurance in the individual and small-group markets.

Contact your senators and representative. Send an Operation Shout today asking your member of Congress to cosponsor H.R. 4575 and senators to support S. 2303!

 

Awesome Media Coverage From Open Enrollment

Posted: January 19, 2018 

With the many changes during this year's open enrollment, NAHU has received great media coverage mentioning our association and members who have shared their experiences with clients, challenges they have faced and expertise on what marketplace changes that occurred in their state. Additionally, our social media analytics were amazing during the 45-day period. We welcome you to review this detailed report on our engagement rates, likes, retweets, link clicks, followers gained and impressions on both Twitter and Facebook.

 
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