Caffrey Insurance Solutions

Lynn Caffrey

Providing Clear and Creative Health Insurance Solutions
March 2011 
About Caffrey Insurance Solutions

Best Broker in the East Bay

I had the honor of being named Best Health Insurance Broker in the East Bay Express Best of the Bay awards.


The review said that I was "an extremely dedicated full service health-insurance broker". I do work hard for my clients; it is my job to find the very best insurance programs possible.

Check Out Our New Website 

You'll discover that our website at is much more interactive, with more of what you need to know. For those of you who prefer following a blog we have our new blog (Ask an Agent) at  


Feel free to add us to your RSS reader. Visit our blog  


We now provide online quoting for individuals, including the ability to submit an application directly online with most carriers. It's a great way to get an overview of the options.  


That said, we must caution that it's good to have a professional go over the plans before a decision is made and an application is submitted.   


As always, your expert is Caffrey Insurance Solutions.    


"I refer you to everyone--I wish more people would take my advice! They shouldn't be doing this on their own.


Everyone needs a Lynn. I think you're amazing at what you do.  


-- Jenny Summers, Individual Client 

Review us on Yelp!
Yelp Page

We have recently set up our business listing on If you have received good service from Caffrey Insurance Solutions over the years, please drop by and let prospective customers know about your experience. We really appreciate your time! Thank you.
Your Health Insurance Agent Is Your Advocate

Solutions -- Not ProblemsThere are many misunderstandings about the role of a health insurance agent.


If you have a legal problem, you consult an attorney. If you have a medical problem, you go to the doctor. If you have an accounting issue, you consult your Certified Public Accountant.   


If you have an insurance problem, you consult Lynn.

Lynn is a professional health insurance agent. She is a well-qualified expert, and health insurance problems are her specialty.

CIS Newsletter Archive
Check out our previous newsletters and dispatches from the wilds of health insurance.
Free California Prescription Discount Card
As a resident of California, you and your family have access to a FREE Prescription Drug Card program. Simply download your Prescription Drug Card and receive savings of up to 75% at more than 50,000 national and regional pharmacies. You may create as many cards as you need.
Do You Like This Newsletter?

Some of you may be receiving this newsletter for the first time. I have been expanding my outreach efforts, but by all means, if you are not interested in receiving future newsletters, please click the unsubscribe link at the bottom of the page. If we haven't spoken in a while and you have concerns about health insurance that I can help you with, please let me know.


You may not have to accept the premiums you've been paying.


This month, why not take a look at your options? We would be glad to run a complimentary comparison quote analysis on your existing policies.  If you're seeking a comparison on your individual and family coverage, you can also go to our website and run a quick quote to see some options. We're glad to run these as well but the website can be a time saver for you.


There are a couple of very interesting opportunities to reduce your rates at present. In particular:


Anthem Blue Cross:  

If you are part of a group plan with Anthem Blue Cross, they have a plan that used to be hospital only, but it now includes doctor visits at the price of hospital only coverage. The rates are really low and we can lock this in for twelve months.  


During the month of March, some people insured with Anthem Blue Cross individual plans can switch to any other individual plan without underwriting. This is a great opportunity to review what you have.



If you are part of a group plan, your rates are going to shoot up in the next couple of months by as much as 76 percent.


Workers Compensation:

If your workers compensation carrier is the state fund, we may be able to find you a better rate.

What Would Lynn Do?  

Q: My company is really struggling.  We heard that we may be able to move our employee who is 70 years old onto a Medicare plan.  We're paying $900 a month for his premium alone.  What can we do?


A:  Your options might seem to be as follows:

  1. Your group size is under 20 and the carrier assumes that the person has Medicare Parts A and B and that Medicare is primary.  The most you can do is make sure the carrier is charging appropriately.
  2. Arrange a reduction in the workforce.
  3. Social Security will tell you that he shouldn't be on Medicare until he retires.  Let it go and accept the premium.  It's discriminatory to do anything else.
  4. Reduce benefits all around to make up for this high premium.

But the correct answer is "None of the Above." In reality, there is no reason a person 65 or over should remain on a group plan.  Although the person cannot be forced to leave it, there are reasons he or she might want to terminate the group plan.   


First, the Medicare Part B premium, which they need to have anyway, costs around $110.  A plan F supplement, which pays 100% of what Medicare doesn't, costs around $120.  A decent drug plan costs around $50.   


Add them together and the cost is $270.  Compare that to $900 for a plan that is not nearly as good.   


The annual savings is over $7500 and you'll find your employee couldn't be happier!  Switching to Medicare is a definite win-win situation.

Medicare Advocacy 

man with pile of paperworkI've recently been working with a lot of people approaching Medicare age. They come to me confused by the staggering amount of mail they are receiving. 


If you have friends or family who are perplexed by the seemingly overwhelming choice, send them my way and I can quickly set them straight. Understanding the options is very difficult and I know how to cut through the red tape quickly.    

President Obama Lends Support to State Proposals for Health Care Reform

Doctor Earth Stethoscope IMage  

There isn't too much to report on the state of healthcare reform this month. However, the Associated Press published an article on February 28th indicating that President Obama has offered to let states designate alternative plans to the health insurance reform, as long as they are aligned with the intent and goals of the original law.


We are pleased to see that there is some progress addressing these divisive issues.

For the original article, please click here.


If you happen to be curious about just where the uninsured are living, please take a look at this interactive map (offered by National Public Radio) breaking down the rough percentages of uninsured persons by district and state. 

More Generic Drugs Ahead: Brand Names Losing Patent over Next Four Years 

Nearly $57 million in brand-name medications will be coming off patent within the next four years. This accounts for a large percentage of the cost of the drug.

Look for lower costs for some of the most popular drugs like Avandia, Plavix, Cymbalta, Celebrex, Lipitor, Nexium, and of course, the most famous of all, Viagra.

Providers Cave to Pressure to Delay Rate Increases

Your voice is being heard by the health insurance industry.  Blue Shield in particular, and other carriers including Anthem Blue Cross, Aetna, and PacifiCare, have agreed to delay implementation of their rate increases by at least 60 days from their initial March 1 date.  This is in direct response to the hugely unpopular rate increases and the public outcry.

California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones is steamed about these rate increases as well, and wants to make absolutely sure that they are necessary. Unfortunately, Blue Shield and other providers claim that they do need these increases to cover the cost of claims, so you may see your premiums rise this year anyway. 

It is always our desire to bring you the best available plans for the best value. It's worth it to look at your plans every two or three years, as carriers are always trying to find innovative ways to keep costs down.
About Lynn
Lynn Caffrey and Caffrey Insurance Solutions is an employee benefits brokerage firm that provides insurance expertise for small companies (fewer than 50 employees) and individuals seeking Individual coverage.

Caffrey Insurance works with you to find the best insurance benefits that provide the best value, tailored to the unique needs of your company.

California License Information
Individual: 0557451
Corporate: OG80281

336 Lenox Avenue, Oakland, CA, 94610