Employee Benefits

Q&A

July 2, 2012
J.K. Wall

The U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold the Patient Protection & Affordable Care Act cleared a big cloud of uncertainty for employers, but with just 18 months before the most significant provisions of the law kick in, many questions remain. Three benefits consultants from Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance—Bob Miller, Mike Miles and Karl Ahlrichs—sat down to discuss what the future looks like for employer health benefits.

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Benefits brokers gain ground without mergingRestricted Content

June 16, 2012
J.K. Wall
While mergers and acquisitions have been rampant in central Indiana’s benefits-broker industry the past five years, a handful of brokers has grown the old-fashioned way—by adding clients.
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Employers slow to act on health reform

June 11, 2012
J.K. Wall
Even though employers expect the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down at least some of the 2010 health reform law later this month, few are actually doing any contingency planning.
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WellPoint: Consumers will control health insurance

June 4, 2012
J.K. Wall
The future of health insurance is lower profit margins and greater consumer control. WellPoint Inc. just bet $900 million on it.
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Area company rolls out inventive wellness benefit

May 31, 2012
Scott Olson
EMC Precision Machining in Sheridan will give each of its 93 employees a new bicycle Friday for exceeding company cost-cutting goals.
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Price hikes offset slower health care use

May 29, 2012
J.K. Wall

Newly available data from private health insurance plans show that price hikes by hospitals, doctors and drug companies have kept employer spending rising recently even as their employees and dependents have moderated their consumption of health care services.

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Companies adopting unlimited time-off policiesRestricted Content

May 12, 2012
J.K. Wall
Proponents of such policies say they are the future of work—even as they acknowledge that it may take a generation for them to be widely accepted. Some workers, however, are fearful.
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Q&A

April 16, 2012
J.K. Wall
Sam Gibbs is president of eHealth Government Solutions, part of California-based eHealthInsurance Services Inc. The company, founded in 1997, pioneered the sale of health insurance over the Internet. Gibbs spoke about the options for public and private health insurance exchanges, including the state-based exchanges mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.
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FirstPerson buys FlashPoint HR unit

April 2, 2012
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based benefits brokerage FirstPerson acquired the small-employer human resource division of Indianapolis-based consulting firm FlashPoint last week in a bid to provide a wider array of services to small businesses.
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COLVIN: Get ready for a perfect storm in Worker's Compensation

March 17, 2012
Ryan Colvin / Special to IBJ
Rates are set to rise as insurers increasingly note the link between older workers' health and productivity.
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Gallagher sees more broker mergers coming

January 30, 2012
J.K. Wall
The Carmel office of Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. just made its sixth acquisition in five years, and it expects looming changes to tax and health laws to produce even more chances to snap up benefits brokers this year.
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Brokers' hopes dashed by feds

December 5, 2011
J.K. Wall
The Obama administration on Friday let stand an earlier rule that said brokers’ fees will have to count toward a 15-percent to 20-percent cap on administrative expenses placed on insurance plans by the 2010 health overhaul.
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Brokers get hope on commissions

November 28, 2011
J.K. Wall
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners passed a resolution Nov. 22 that urges Congress and the Obama administration to exclude benefits brokers’ commissions from the new requirement that insurers spend only 15 percent to 20 percent of the premiums they collect on administration and profits.
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Few employers say they'll drop health coverage

November 21, 2011
J.K. Wall
Few employers in Indiana say they’re likely to drop health benefits after state insurance exchanges are formed in 2014, according to a new survey by the health benefits firm Mercer.
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IU embraces medical homes to cut costs

October 3, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indiana University announced a partnership with the Indianapolis-based IU Health hospital system that will launch four primary care clinics in Bloomington, which can be visited for no extra charge by those enrolled in IU’s health plans.
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Anderson's GM culture, poor health blamed for high medical costsRestricted Content

September 10, 2011
J.K. Wall
Residents of the Anderson area—when they paid with health insurance provided by an employer—spent 76 percent more on health care in 2009 than the average American with employer health insurance, highest among all metropolitan areas in the nation.
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WellPoint insures two-thirds of Hoosier workers

July 25, 2011
J.K. Wall
Indianapolis-based WellPoint claimed 63 percent of all employees covered by small-group employers and 66 percent of the workers at large-group employers, according to Seattle-based actuarial firm Milliman Inc.
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UPDATE: Medco acquisition could lead to local consolidation

July 21, 2011
 IBJ Staff and Bloomberg News
It’s not yet clear how Express Scripts Inc.’s $29.1 billion acquisition of rival Medco Health Solutions will affect the companies’ central Indiana operations—or their 800-plus employees at two facilities here.
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More employers put faith in health savings accountsRestricted Content

July 16, 2011
J.K. Wall
Sizable Indianapolis companies like the Archdiocese of Indianapolis, consumer-ratings service Angie’s List, Marsh and Wilhelm Construction have switched to consumer-directed health plans. There’s some evidence nationally that the trend is set to accelerate.
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Employers face messy decision to drop health insuranceRestricted Content

July 9, 2011
J.K. Wall
Companies that drop insurance coverage could, without spending any more money than they are now, give workers an 11-percent raise or else help them save as much as $2,000 per year buying health coverage in one of the exchanges, IBJ calculations show.
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VCs: Health benefits will be defined contribution

May 16, 2011
J.K. Wall
Increasing government involvement in the health insurance market will have the counter-intuitive effect of making the industry more consumer-driven, concludes a new report from a health care venture-capital firm.
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MANTOOTH: Companies bogged down by employees' poor healthRestricted Content

May 14, 2011
The problem is, too many people make unhealthy choices and the consequences of these choices become everyone’s problem.
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Q&A

March 30, 2011
J.K. Wall
Susan Rider is an employee-benefits account manager at Indianapolis-based Gregory & Appel Insurance. On July 1, she will become president of the Indiana State Association of Health Underwriters. She spoke about the first-year impact of the 2010 health reform law and further changes to come.
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Self-funded plans draw small-firm interest

March 23, 2011
J.K. Wall
In the face of new health reform restrictions, expect more small employers to opt for self-funded health benefits, concludes a report this week from Indianapolis-based United Benefit Advisors.
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RATHKE: My saga of staying up to date on health care reform

March 19, 2011
Tracey Rathke
Human resources used to be about payroll and benefits. Now it's also about watching Congress.
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