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Small Business Health Insurance Trends 2019

by Tim AustinJanuary 31, 2019 8:13 AM

Changes in healthcare are prompting many small business owners to rethink the role of employee benefits like health insurance at their companies. A Guardian Life Insurance study found that providing employees with affordable benefits will be a top concern for small businesses in 2019, yet a majority struggle to provide the healthcare they need. Healthcare costs can greatly impact the profitability of a small business, so benefits strategies must reflect a company’s needs, goals, and values. Below, we explored some of the top health insurance trends that will impact small businesses and how you can adapt in the ever-changing benefits landscape.

 Small business health insurance is changing in 2019.

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The $9 Billion-Dollar Blunder

by Colin RhodesJanuary 23, 2019 8:00 AM

A recent article written by the Wall Street Journal  outlines some startling financial data in regard to our domestic health insurers and their cryptic billing process established by CMS (Center for Medicare/Medicaid Services). Although GMS typically focuses on the private insurance markets—as they are the most relevant for businesses—examining the continued failures of CMS may provide some insight as to why our domestic healthcare system operates so poorly and why prices for both public and private health insurance markets are sky-rocketing.  

Costs associated with the U.S. healthcare system. 

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How Michigan’s Paid Sick Leave Law Affects Business Owners (and What They Should Do About It)

by Philip GarbaczJanuary 9, 2019 8:00 AM

In the past, business owners in Michigan had the option of whether they wanted to offer paid sick leave for their employees. However, Michigan adopted the Earned Sick Time Act (ESTA) Sept. 5, 2018, making it the 11th state to have a mandatory paid sick leave law in effect. Within a few months, the state’s legislature amended the bill, adopting the Paid Medical Leave Act (PMLA) as a modified version of the initial act that will go into effect starting March of 2019. 

With all the changes in Michigan’s paid sick leave laws, it’s time for business owners in the state to take stock of exactly what the PMLA requires of them, if they should reevaluate their paid leave policies, and what they need to do to be compliant with the new law.

An employee staying home through her company’s paid sick leave policy. 

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The Different Types of Group Health Insurance

by Tim AustinOctober 25, 2018 2:42 PM

Health insurance is one of the most sought-after benefits, but not all plans work the same way. There are several different types of group health insurance that differ in terms of how the insurance is purchased and how it affects the group’s premiums and plan options. 

While all these plans have certain advantages and disadvantages, it’s up to you to decide which makes the most sense for your needs. Here are some of the common types of group health insurance options available for small businesses.

Different types of group health insurance plans for small businesses. 

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Fundamentals of the ACA: Where it Went Wrong, Part II – The Individual Mandate

by Colin RhodesSeptember 18, 2018 11:00 AM

Following a 19.1 percent-32 percent hike in 2018, 2019 Obamacare rates are expected to rise by double digit percentage points, again. Though speculation by market experts have resulted in a slew of responses as to why premiums have continued to rise, 2019’s increase is one of the most cut and dry responses by insurers to current reform changes. Within this article, we’ll explore the proverbial straw that broke the camel’s back, which happens to be one of the pillars the ACA was built on: the individual mandate.

Medical equipment sitting in front of rising costs of the current healthcare system.

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4 Workplace Wellness Trends You Should Consider for Your Business

by Tim AustinJuly 24, 2018 8:00 AM

When your employees are ailing, your business is also likely to suffer. The health and wellbeing of your employees can play a big part in your company’s success, as a happy, healthy workforce has several benefits, including:

  • Increased productivity
  • Reduced absenteeism
  • Decreased medical costs

Many small business owners have turned to workplace wellness programs to help improve the wellbeing of their employees. Over time, these programs have evolved to address specific issues to better serve employers and their employees. Here are some recent wellness trends than may be a good fit for your business.

An office worker stretching as part of the company’s workplace wellness program.

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The Differences Between PEOs and Brokers for Small Business Health Insurance

by Tim AustinJuly 17, 2018 8:00 AM

When small business owners decide to offer health insurance to their employees, they don’t have to find a plan by themselves. The process can be very complicated for people without an intimate knowledge of how health insurance works, so owners typically turn to brokers or PEOs to guide them through the process. While both PEOs and brokers have the same general goal—to find you quality, affordable health insurance for your business—they work in different ways.

Small business owner deciding between health insurances services between a PEO and a broker.

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Medical Tourism: How a GMS Employee Found Quality, Affordable Treatment in a Different Country

by Matt SchoolcraftJuly 12, 2018 8:00 AM

With the soaring costs of healthcare in the U.S., many citizens feel they are left with little to no alternatives when it comes to significant surgeries and procedures. This has helped propel many to look into the latest trend of “medical tourism” in an effort to get the operations they need without breaking the bank.

Citizens may be uneasy about the idea of receiving care outside of the United States, but there are some great facilities and specialists in other countries where the same level of treatment—or even better in some cases—can be received at a fraction of the price. That was the case for GMS employee Christine Mace when her husband Dan required hip surgery back in 2016.

Health City Cayman Islands, a medical tourism destination.

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Fundamentals of the ACA: Where It Went Wrong, Part 1

by Colin RhodesJuly 2, 2018 8:00 AM

As we brace ourselves for undeniable regulatory changes within the healthcare industry, often we neglect conversation about the shortcomings of our current system to ensure we don’t repeat the same mistakes. Although many would agree that the intentions of the ACA (“Expand access to health insurance, protect patients against arbitrary actions by insurance companies, and reduce costs”) were created with social good in mind, experts are strident that the mechanisms used to create this social good have failed to correct the economic epidemic that currently infects our healthcare system. 

If you think “economic epidemic” is a hyperbolic term to use in this context, think again. As referenced in my previous blog post about the continuing battle to repeal the ACA, the U.S. domestic healthcare system costs around $3.3 trillion to the American economy each year. What’s less known is that this figure is projected to continue rising as it has almost every year since the 1960s. 

Chart of how total health expenditures have increased over time. 

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Can I Offer Health Insurance to Certain Employees?

by Tim AustinJune 21, 2018 8:00 AM

Health insurance comes with many responsibilities for small business owners. Regardless of whether you’re trying to cut health insurance costs or reward specific employees, you may wonder exactly how those responsibilities affect who you offer health insurance coverage. Can you pick and choose who can be a part of your health plan, or are there federal regulations involved? As you may expect, there are some rules you need to follow.

Employees at a company that offers group health insurance coverage.

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