26 July 2019

The IRS Announces New HSA Limits for 2020

The IRS limits for HSA contributions for 2020 were just announced. Those with single only coverage will be allowed $3,550 while those with family coverage will be increased to $7,100.  The $1,000 catch-up provision for those 55 or older will remain unchanged.

11 June 2019

Easier Eye Screening

The FDA has approved a new screening device, the IDxDR for use by Primary Care doctors to check for diabetic retinopathy, a type of damage to the retina caused by high blood sugar. It is estimated that half of diabetics do not get annual eye exams. This device will allow the family doctor to screen and detect possible problems early in time for their patients to see an opthalmologist before the condition becomes critical.

18 March 2019

UnitedHealth To Rebate Rx Savings to Consumers

United Health Group just announced that it plans on passing along rebates from drugmakers to their policyholders who actually take these drugs. This move will begin in January 2020 and will affect new contracts as well as current clients moving to a new contract with United. This comes at a time when the Federal Government is taking a closer look at their contracts with drugmakers in Medicare and Medicaid contracts. United already has participated in rebating on some medical plans in the past.  Also many news outlets regularly publish articles concerning escalating drug prices.  All of this suggests that there are moves being made to address the rapid cost increases in pharmaceuticals in recent years.

07 February 2019

Risks for After Surgery Travel

A recent study of some 6,000 patients who had had had hip or knee replacement surgery and then flown within six days of the surgery were found to be three times more likely to develop a deep vein clot than those travelling by car. These “venous thromboembolism or VTE” as they are called can be deadly in some cases and anyone planning air travel in a short time after such surgery should first consult their doctor.

Fahd Mahmood-Clinical Research Fellow:Natl. Hospital Glasgow Scotland

08 May 2018

Dementia and Alcohol

In a recent study of 57,000 with early onset (under 65) of dementia, 57% of the cases were found to also having a history of heavy alcohol use, four to five drinks or more a day. They also found that while those who dramatically reduced their alcohol intake lived longer, they were still at a higher risk of developing early onset dementia. The bottom line appears to be that heavy alcohol use is a strong factor in developing dementia.

05 January 2018

Latest News To Undo The Health Law With Regulatory Action

The Trump administration is proposing changes that would let millions of small businesses and the self-employed buy health-insurance plans that don’t comply with all Affordable Care Act requirements, part of an aggressive move to undo the health law through regulatory action.

The proposal would allow businesses that share geography or an industry in common to form an association and sell members health policies that are exempt from some of the ACA’s requirements, according to a senior Labor Department official. They would no longer have to comply with an ACA rule that they offer a mandatory array of benefits, such as substance-abuse treatment.

19 December 2017

BCG Holiday Hours

Seasons greetings to one an all. Benefits Consulting Group will be closed beginning December 25th and will reopen on January 3rd. We wish you all Happy Holidays and a sucessful New Year!

02 October 2017

Excess fat at waist & hips increase cancer rate

A 12 year study of 43,000 people concluded that excess fat around the waist and hips add a considerable risk for certain cancers. Four extra inches around the waist increased the risk for pancreatic and breast cancers to jump by +13% and an additional three inches around the hips increased the risk for bowel cancers by +15%. The increased risk appears to be caused by altered hormone levels leading to inflamation and thus the increase in risks. Heinz Freisling PhD Internatl. Agency for Research on Cancer

04 August 2017

Insurers Seek Rate Hike In ACA premiums

Across the country, insurance companies are filing requests asking for double digit rate increases for their ACA  plans. Surveys found that in a number of states the larger carriers are asking for as much as 30%  rate increases. This reflects the ongoing uncertainty surrounding the Affordable Care Act. The recent failure to repeal and replace coupled with Congressional inability to formulate a cohesive plan for the future fuels these rates hikes. Until there is a clearer picture look for these rate hikes to continue.

21 July 2017

Important Blue Cross Notice

Blue Cross is advising all groups with Blue Cross coverage that the IRS has found a number of people insured with Blue Cross have incorrect information on some of their identifying data such as Social Security numbers, dates of birth, addresses, etc. These people will shortly receive a postcard from Blue Cross requesting they either go online or call Blue Cross to correct their info. Failure to respond will result in a $50 fine from the IRS. Please advise all employees with coverage to neither ignore nor discard this postcard, but to respond by phone or online to the numbers contained on this card.