In Focus

News & Insight from Chelko Consulting
Unsung Hero: The HSA and Retirement Savings

Unsung Hero: The HSA and Retirement Savings

When employees ponder their lives in retirement, hobbies, travel, and mid-afternoon naps are likely more top-of-mind than paying for healthcare.

Even with Medicare picking up the majority of healthcare expenses for post-65 retirees, the average couple will still need $390,000* to cover medical expenses during retirement. And that doesn’t even include long-term care. The problem today is that the average retirement savings for a couple in their 60s is only $152,000**. read more…

Keeping Score: Specialty Drug per Employee Cost Trend

Keeping Score: Specialty Drug per Employee Cost Trend

Specialty drug per employee cost trend refers to the change in specialty drug spend per employee from 2017 to 2018 for each company in our database. While the average increase of 11% is right in line with benchmarks, the year-to-year price movement for each company is all over the board. Only 15% of the groups in our database had a trend rate between 10% and 15%. read more…

We’re Paying You for What?

We’re Paying You for What?

The prescription drug market is officially upside down. We were recently looking at a large coalition’s new initiative to “remove unnecessary drugs” from its formulary. The plan, believe it or not, is to charge coalition members over $3 million in fees to exclude these expensive, unnecessary drugs.

Our response: Really? We have to pay them extra for that? Why were those drugs covered in the first place? Weren’t we already paying them to help us avoid spending money on expensive, unnecessary drugs? read more…

A Look Behind the Curtain

A Look Behind the Curtain

We just received another invitation to take advantage of an insurance company’s “supplemental compensation program.” Every time we see these solicitations, we feel our blood pressure rise. It certainly reinforces the practice of insurance companies referring to brokers as their “producers.” read more…

Will New Price Transparency Rules Have an Impact?

Will New Price Transparency Rules Have an Impact?

In response to President Trump’s June 24, 2019, executive order, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services developed proposed rules that mandate “consumer-friendly” price transparency for hospitals.

Starting January 1 of 2020, hospitals will have to publish price information organized in a standardized way so patients will be able to do an accurate comparison of procedure pricing between hospitals. Hospitals will also be required to post all their payers specific negotiated rates, which are the prices actually paid by insurers, in that same format. read more…

Rethinking Telemedicine

Rethinking Telemedicine

An estimated 96 percent of large employers offer telemedicine services to their employees. While independent services like Teladoc have been around for more than a decade, now most insurance providers offer their own telemedicine programs as an add-on service to employers.

Health plan sponsors have added these programs to combat the rising cost of emergency room and urgent care services. However, as employer adoption of telemedicine grows, it hasn’t become any easier to determine if the goal of reducing cost is being achieved. In fact, some research shows that telemedicine may actually be increasing health plan costs. read more…

Do Employee Meetings Still Have a Place in Benefits Education?

Do Employee Meetings Still Have a Place in Benefits Education?

Hold your questions until the end, please.

You know what we can’t stand about a text message announcement? You cannot respond with a question. The same goes for an email. Sometimes the info is timely and useful, but what if you have a follow-up question or require a point of clarification?

Those forms of communication may work well for quick reminders (think “Don’t forget to enroll” or “Three more days until open enrollment closes”), but what about the big stuff? We’re talking more complicated or nuanced items like changes in cost sharing, a new type of plan, or updated eligibility rules. read more…

Keeping Score: Employee Cost Share

Keeping Score: Employee Cost Share

Employee cost share is defined as the percent of total medical and Rx plan costs paid by employees. This number includes employee contributions, as well as copays, deductibles, and coinsurance. Often, when companies report cost share, they only focus on employee contributions. But with the prevalence of high deductible plans, it’s more important than ever to ensure companies measure and manage the entire employee outlay and its relation to total cost. read more…

Taking the Deep Dive with Nicolas Cage

Taking the Deep Dive with Nicolas Cage

This year marked our fourth annual Deep Dive Roundtable where leading employers from across Ohio gathered in Columbus to discuss plan management strategies and review benchmarking information on how their plan metrics stacked up against peers’. The fourth iteration of the gathering also featured two special guests who added fresh layers of insight and perspective to the day. read more…

Medical Carrier or TPA: What’s Best for You?

Medical Carrier or TPA: What’s Best for You?

Vendor Reviews & Recommendations was the topic for a recent series of benefit roundtables our firm hosted for leading employers in several cities. It was a great opportunity to share and compare insights on a variety of benefit vendors.

One of the most intriguing conversation threads in each location involved medical plan administrators. As the clear majority of groups contracted directly with an insurance carrier (UHC, Anthem, MMO, Aetna, Cigna, etc.), we expected some standard vendor comparisons with associated pros and cons. However, what emerged was an across-the-board curiosity regarding alternatives to standard carrier relationships, which is what leads us here. read more…

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Westlake, Ohio 44145

Phone: 440.892.2600
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Email: info@chelkogroup.com

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Phone: 614.869.4140

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