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The Evolution of Group Health Plans | 108 Years of Compelling Reforms [Infographic]

Many legislators, business owners, and employees have waved the white flag in regards to understanding and solving problems surrounding the accessibility and cost of group health insurance. For the last decade, it seems that the issue of employer-offered health benefits has been discussed, argued over, and budgeted for to the exclusion of all else.

One of the top questions asked when discussing group health insurance is,  “What’s going to happen next with the Affordable Care Act?”

Unfortunately, that is a complex question that contains too many variables for anyone to be able to easily answer.

However, to view the issues we are experiencing as new or isolated and directly resulting from our current political climate would be shortsighted. It may be beneficial to review the evolution of health insurance plans in order to gain some perspective on how quickly (or slowly) things can change.

 

Heath Insurance Plan Timeline

In 1910, Montgomery Ward & Co. entered into one of the earliest group insurance contracts. This triggered the establishment of physician service and industrial health plans. Although definitely not a standard in our society, they were available.

By 1920, 16 states attempted to develop laws aimed at requiring health insurance programs. Think about that for a moment – 100 years ago, the first government-mandated health plans were introduced. However, all 16 efforts failed.

Fast forward to 1943 when the War Labor Board ruled to freeze wages. The wage freeze did not apply to fringe benefits, however, which prompted the business culture seen in today’s society of using benefits to recruit and retain top talent. If an employer was prohibited from paying more in wages during a severe labor shortage, offering health insurance was a great opportunity to sweeten the pot for prospective employees. Employer-provided health insurance started to become a standard benefit for employees. It became a considerable part of employment planning and decision-making. And consequently, it developed into an expectation and eventually, a nation-wide mandate.

Over the next 60 years, the structure of how health insurance was administered remained largely unchanged; Employers contract with insurance companies to manage their risk and provide a network of medical providers at a cost below retail. Likewise, the government has kept up a steady stream of regulations to contribute to the rising cost of care and administration of health insurance.

 

Continue reading “The Evolution of Group Health Plans | 108 Years of Compelling Reforms [Infographic]”

Cost Control Strategy: “Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime”

Cost Control Strategy

Think about your last renewal – how much time was spent on interviewing new agents, market selection, filling out applications/meeting with numerous insurance company Loss Control Representatives, and dealing with the “quoting process”? Now, think about how much time was actually spent sitting down to create an action plan to help you truly control your exposures and reduce your insurance spend over the next 5-10 years, rather than just the upcoming year.  Continue reading “Cost Control Strategy: “Don’t step over a dollar to pick up a dime””

FMCSA puts final nail in the coffin for restart regs

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration confirmed on its website that the 2013 regulations on the 34-hour restart will not go back into effect, given the results of a study released this week.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has notified Congress that the required study of the those regs revealed they provided no safety benefit. The notification verified a DOT Inspector General notice issued last week on the study’s conclusions. Continue reading “FMCSA puts final nail in the coffin for restart regs”

Safety Inspection Blitz Oct. 16 to Oct. 22

The Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance will ramp up enforcement activity starting Sunday for its annual Operation Safe Driver Week enforcement blitz.

From Oct. 16 to Oct. 22, law enforcement agencies across North America will engage in heightened traffic safety enforcement and education aimed at unsafe driving by both commercial motor vehicle drivers and car drivers. Continue reading “Safety Inspection Blitz Oct. 16 to Oct. 22”

DOT Proposes Speed Limiter Rule

Federal safety regulators are proposing that heavy-duty vehicles be equipped with speed-limiting devices set to a specific maximum speed. A notice of proposed rulemaking was issued jointly on Aug. 26 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

The NPRM comes after a decade-long push by trucking and safety advocates to put such a requirement in place for trucks and other commercial vehicles. Continue reading “DOT Proposes Speed Limiter Rule”