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                        April 2016
BROKER RANT                                   By: Barry Cogdill
Hello SDAHU members. The rant starts now.

The patient is not well. Our health insurance system is chronically ill. Insurance agents often state that health insurance cost protection-insurance premium-is an accurate barometer of the cost of health care delivery. Medical insurance premiums have more than doubled in the past 6 years across the nation. Nationally, the average price for an individual ACA plan was $374 in 2015, and $409 for 2016. That is $5000 a year just to get an entry ticket.

This is partly due to the ACA expansion, as all qualified health insurance plans now cover the very same essential health benefits, which are not inexpensive to deliver. There is very little wiggle room to innovate in benefits, with the only moving parts being the size of a deductible, and the coinsurance amount. Outside of Platinum plan designs, out of pocket risk is almost the same, and quite high.

The insurance companies have not changed their byzantine and opaque pricing structures. It is still very hard to find out what things cost. Want a nasty little truth? Consumers assume that the negotiated rate in a health plan will significantly discount the cost of care from street rack rates. True, in most cases. But-as it turns out, paying cash to a provider, instead of using insurance, often has a larger discount than insurance can deliver. There is a downside, of course, as those cash payments are not going toward the out of pocket maximum.  Read more.
Course: 333595
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April 21 
CE Lunch Meeting 
Insights and knowledge may help you grow your group book of business. This CE session covers topics including the market drivers, historical context, economic factors, market statistics, regulatory and ACA compliance, and due diligence aspects.  Join us for this informative session!
For more information and to register, click here.

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