English: This is a diagram depicting the percentage in US who have no health insurance by age. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Partnership Aims To Help Small to Mid-Sized Businesses Offer Affordable Employee Health Benefits
DeWitt Risk Management Consultants LLC today announced a new partnership with Zane Benefits, the leader in defined contribution health benefits. The partnership will allow DeWitt Risk Management Consultants LLC to provide Arizona businesses with new health reimbursement arrangements and defined contribution solutions.
“Arizona businesses need a solution to combat group health insurance renewals in 2013,” said Page DeWitt-Porter, Registered Broker of DeWitt Risk Management Consultants LLC “The primary goal of this program will be to educate businesses on defined contribution and health reimbursement arrangements and equip them with the knowledge and tools they need to offer excellent employee health benefits at affordable cost.”
New studies predict that U.S. businesses are gearing up to abandon traditional health coverage in favor of the defined contribution model. As a result, health insurers are already dusting off their once-ignored individual market product lines to appeal to individuals as well as employees. And, businesses of all sizes are looking to health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) to control benefit costs while keeping employee morale and retention up.
Experts predict group health insurance costs to hit an all-time high this renewal period due to key health care reform provisions taking effect. Rick Lindquist, President of Zane Benefits, predicts that thousands of Arizona small businesses will terminate their group health insurance plans. “As health care reform phases in, nearly every small business will drop its group plan and allow employees to use tax-free funds to buy their own individual health policies.”
DeWitt Risk Management Consultants LLC and Zane Benefits’ joint solution, often referred to as a defined contribution health plan or HRA, allows an employer to name its price. Rather than paying the high costs to provide a specific group health plan (a “defined benefit”), employers instead fix their costs by establishing a monthly dollar amount (a “defined contribution”) that employees choose how to spend. Most employees are able to buy individual policies for less than the monthly amount funded by the company. The allowance can also be used for eyeglasses, dental care and other medical expenses.
Individual health insurance used to be expensive and hard to get. However, due to health insurance reforms, individual policies are now more affordable and accessible. For example, insurance companies must now accept children regardless of preexisting conditions, and guaranteed acceptance is being extended to all citizens over the next year. Additionally, a new federal risk pool is now available for anyone who cannot find health insurance on the individual market.
Beginning in 2014, massive tax subsidies will be available to help individuals buy individual health insurance coverage through the new state-based public exchanges. Tax subsidies will be available, beginning in 2014, for individuals who enroll in silver plans through an exchange. This subsidy caps the cost of an individual’s health insurance at 2% – 9.5% of their household income if their household income is less than 400% above the federal poverty line (that’s ~$92,500 per year for a family of 4 in 2014).
DeWitt-Porter goes on to say, “Our program will allow Arizona businesses to keep and maintain their employee health benefits program. Many businesses do not realize individual health insurance can be reimbursed tax free. We are working hard to educate businesses on these new products so that they can help their clients.”
About DeWitt Risk Management Consultants LLC
The insurance brokers at DeWitt Risk Management Consultants LLC are dedicated to finding the right solutions to every client’s Group Benefits Programs. It’s their specialty. The DeWitt Risk Management mission is to provide every client with exactly what is needed to protect what is important including Buy/Sell Solutions, Financing Arrangements, Key Man Protection, or simply a well-designed Group Plans package. In addition to DeWitt Risk Management’s ability to aid employers in maximizing their employee benefits package, Individual Product Specialists are on hand to assist those looking for Medical, Dental, Vision, Disability, Short Term Medical, Long Term Care, Retirement Planning, Life Insurance Products (including the possibility of “Becoming Your Own Banker™ and creating a legacy for your posterity).
About Zane Benefits, Inc.
Zane Benefits, Inc, a software company, helps insurance brokers, accountants, and employers take advantage of new defined contribution health benefits and private exchanges via its proprietary SaaS online health benefits software. Zane Benefits does not sell insurance. Using Zane’s platform, insurance professionals and accountants offer their clients a defined contribution health plan with multiple individual health insurance options via a private health exchange of their choice. Learn more at http://www.zanebenefits.com/.