Welcome to the Benefits Briefing Blog

How will healthcare reform affect your business? What do you need to know about the fundamental legal, financial and regulatory challenges facing employers and benefits professionals? You’ll find the answers in our Benefits Briefing Blog.

We invite you to learn more about this important topic by listening to the recorded version on our Recent Radio Shows page.

We also invite you to subscribe to our monthly Benefits Briefing Advisory newsletter, which we’ll be launching this summer.

And, if you want to know what healthcare reform means to your business, please contact us to arrange a meeting with one of our principals.

July 20 12, 09:00 AM
Ten Strategic Considerations of the Supreme Court Upholding PPACA
The Supreme Court has now spoken. The individual mandate and the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act are no longer in question, although the requirement for states to expand Medicaid coverage to 15 million of the nation's uninsured was overturned.

How will this decision impact Arizona employers and workers? Will healthcare premiums rise or fall? How will insurance companies react?

These are some of the crucial questions we examined on the July 9 broadcast of our Benefits Briefing Radio Show on Talk 1100 KFNX.

Special guest Tom Snook, Principal and Consulting Actuary with the Phoenix office of Milliman, shared the perspectives he recently outlined in "Ten Strategic Considerations of the Supreme Court Upholding the PPACA," an article he co-authored that was cited by the Columbia Journalism Review as one of the most useful pieces on the healthcare reform story.

Here are some of the key takeaways:
  • Many employers will continue to offer benefits to their employees, especially if they field a highly skilled workforce where benefits promote recruitment and retention.
  • The mandate will not succeed in expanding coverage unless it provides the right balance of penalties and incentives. Only time will tell if it is correctly calibrated or whether changes will become necessary.
  • If Arizona decides not to expand Medicaid, then businesses with large pools of low-income workers will need to find some other way to offer coverage or accept the penalties for referring these employees to the exchange market. The decision will require a detailed analysis of the specific characteristics of the workforce and the subsidies they qualify to receive.
  • Some employers may consider adopting a self-insured model. But smaller companies may find the resulting risks and volatility unattractive.
  • Employers must now move ahead aggressively to analyze the law and chart their benefits future. The rubber has officially hit the road.
  • March 01 12, 08:02 PM
    An ALS Family Story: How to Help Families and Caregivers Contending with Serious Illness.
    On February 27, we broadcast a special Benefits Briefing radio show that focused on the unique challenges facing individuals and families when a loved one is diagnosed with a serious life-threatening disease.

    Our guest, Stacy Hutton, shared her experiences navigating the healthcare system when she learned that her husband had been diagnosed with ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease). She offered a host of practical strategies anyone can employ to ensure they receive the full benefits of their healthcare insurance plan and to obtain the best possible care for a loved one facing a serious, life-threatening disease.

    Among the key issues to consider:
  • How to assess your benefits plan and ensure that you receive all of the healthcare services you're entitled to in the most efficient and cost-effective way.
  • The importance of working with a case nurse to coordinate medical care.
  • How to maximize your benefits by ensuring that all medical services are performed by in-network providers.
  • The role of home healthcare and hospice services during the course of a serious illness.