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Are Insurance Costs Too High

Here are a few tips from North Creek that might help: • Bundle your policies. Most insurance carriers give a discount for having both your home and auto policies. • Take a defensive driving class to reduce your auto premium. If you take this class, you will see a 10% discount off the collision, liability, and personal injury protection premiums on your policy, especially if you have a new driver in your family. This is a great way to save money

Health Care Exchange Explained

An Exchange is a New York State marketplace where small business employers, sole proprietors and individuals may shop for health insurance plans. The Exchange is an addition to your current health insurance options. There are two parts to the Exchange: 1. the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP) 2. the sole proprietors and individuals program (Individual Exchange) The Exchange is a means of shopping

Large Employer Update

The Treasury Department has confirmed that the 2014 mandate for employers with 50 or more full-time workers has been delayed until 2015. This means that employers will not be subject to Federal penalties for not providing qualified health insurance in 2014. The Affordable Care Act requires that all employers with 50 or more full-time workers provide health insurance

Perfect Storm Meets Perfect Protection

Hurricane Sandy was termed “the perfect storm”. Since it hit New York, it was the lead story, not only locally, but nationally, too, and its details were enthralling: 110 houses burned to the ground, Atlantic City boardwalk and 100-year-old amusement park destroyed, NYC transit system swamped, record level flood surge, boats of all sizes

Identity Theft

I reviewed my credit card statement recently and was surprised to find that I had paid a utility bill in California and purchased a widescreen TV in Colorado. Since I live in New York, I was pretty certain it was not a matter of my poor memory. More recently, bus ticket purchases from Mexico were denied by my credit card company. I don’t know how these thieves were able to get my credit card number, but I do know this is part of the risk of living in an increasingly electronic-dependent society. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, in 2010, 7% of households

Health Care Benefits – Contraception

Recently the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced a broader opt-out provision for religious non-profits that object to providing health insurance that covers birth control for women. This is an update to the August 2012 mandate that all health insurance plans are required to cover FDA approved and prescribed contraceptive services. There has been significant objection by some due to the contraceptive component.

Helping with Open Enrollment

It’s Open Enrollment time again for many companies. Those covered by Small Group plans, are fearful of what this year’s rate changes will bring. Premiums have risen sharply for the past several years. To manage the expense to the organization, increased co-pays and high deductible plans have typically been passed on to your employees. Federal Regulations Bring Change and Clarity
Due to The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA, commonly known as “Obama Care”), employers will see changes not only in price and coverage, but in how these changes are portrayed.

The Need for Healthcare Policies

Our national health care system has been through some tumultuous changes over the past few years, but this year, we have seen some of the impact - and we have been surprised a few times. Earlier this year, we received a call from a few organizations who had fewer than 50 participants in their health care plan. They had just received a letter of non-renewal from their long-standing (very large) health insurance provider. In fact, that insurer had decided to drop all health insurance policies with fewer than 50 participants.

2012 Best Practices

To retain our Best Practices Agency status we must submit our year-end results for review each year. Every third year, when new agency nominations are accepted, we must re-qualify as one of the top performers in our revenue category in order to retain our spot. A new study cycle starts in 2013 and we will be competing against new agency participants. Participation in the Best Practices Study has become a prestigious recognition