Focus Benefits Flash

Love Hate with Technology

Tech today – fun but do you really want it?


I recently read some articles about self reporting technology for insurance claims management. That just has to be good, Right?  

First was an article about a “Device” that installs on your car and automatically reports all aspects of a claim as it happens. How cool is that?

Look, up in the sky – not Superman – it’s ACA, Affordable Care Act, deadlines coming!

ACA, Affordable Care Act, Deadlines: What happens if the employer has not been doing the forms? The IRS sends the employer a warm and fuzzy notice letter! (You know how warm and fuzzy they can be.) Continue reading

Conversations in a Diner and your Insurance Coverage

For as long as I have been involved in Health insurance people have been asking for insurance that had more coverage, was guaranteed issue and had no

limitations based on preexisting conditions. As the old maxim goes “Be careful what you ask for, you might get it.”

In this case all of those requests have now been granted, even for free in some cases, and people are outraged by what came with what they asked for – “I thought the cost would go down!” The cost of insurance coverage cannot, and will not, go down as long as the claims payments keep going up.
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No wining, or littering.

What if all those wine bottles you have been throwing away could be recycled as a set of drinking glasses – with your name engraved on them?
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Subrogation: What is that and how does it relate to Insurance?

Right at that point your medical plan (and your auto insurance carrier) can “Subrogate” the claim and take back whatever they spent on your medical bills. As disconcerting as that might be to the person who was injured (it might mean they actually get nothing) employers also need to be paying attention to this in
regard to their plan documentation.
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Should you enroll for health insurance with a company that has declared they will be going out of business?

Recently, a company made up in part of insurance companies that helped create the modern U.S. major medical market, says it will stop taking applications for new individual major medical coverage, short-term health insurance and insured group coverage June 15. Continue reading

What is the best way to save thousands of dollars on Health Care Costs?

You need to stop insuring the small risks, start committing to being healthy, get a higher deductible, an HSA or similar plan and start saving money. You are throwing your money away if you are in love with your low co-pay and low deductible. Continue reading

Surfing with Sharks and Barracudas: Surviving an IRS or DOL Attack!

If you have an employee benefit plan (group insurance, 401K, etc) you are required to have documentation. At the very least you must have a corporate resolution stating intent to offer the benefits, plan outlines, and a summary plan document you have given to every employee. Continue reading

A Memorial Day Tribute: Robert (Bob) P. Cowie

I met Bob when I moved to phoenix 35 years ago. I was looking for work in insurance and I had a background playing Polo. A friend said, “Bob Cowie needs a Benefits guy. Go to the Polo field and introduce yourself.”. I did that and it led to Bob hiring me and we played Polo together for over 10 years. Continue reading

Is somebody sneaking around your HIPAA privacy rights?

If that does not concern you it should. With just your name and date of birth a company can collect all of your prescription information and then “assume” your overall health status. They then can retain that information and if you show up at some other employer they can update it and reuse the information. All of this is without you ever knowing or approving of it. Continue reading