Health-Wise Topics

www.rxaminer.com, founded by cardiologist Joseph Rogers, allows consumers to input a drug and see a list of cheaper drugs that could be considered generics or suitable alternatives.                     The site takes no clinical responsibility and urges prior physician consultation before switching        medications but gives you more information to make better decisions.

Do you want to know what vitamins and supplements are best for your body?  Take the Test Click here to obtain a FREE Nutritional Analysis.

                                        

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Efficiency Topics

Another Life saver is Cobra and HIPPA Compliance companies.  If you have 20 or more total employees you are Cobra compliant.  This law can be deadly if you aren't prepared for it.    Some of our partner companies can set up & administer section 125's and Cobra/HIPPA related services.  They also do a fantastic job in providing informative seminars to keep with all the law changes.  Give us a call for more information.

HIPPA Privacy Laws.  Do you know what you can and can't do with a persons private information?  Here is a helpful link that might answer some basic questions for you, from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Discussion of Today's Issues

Health Insurance has become a major focus in our lives in the last few years. There are many reasons for this attention: the cost has been increasing beyond some employers reach, HMO's aggressive expansion, doctors negative reaction to this and the increase in overall hassles of receiving care.  Since this adverse reaction to HMO's, most providers have discontinued offering them in their product packages.  We still have BC/BS, Aetna and Cigna in our area but for how long know one knows.

The press has capitalized on the friction between insurance companies expansion and doctors resistance to cutting their fees and being told how to run their practices. We are stuck in the middle. That friction shows up in how we receive care. More and more doctors are not billing lab work under the office visit co-pay but instead are having labs bill directly to us. Why is this important? This pulls lab work which was once covered under the office visit co-pay, now goes into a PPO's deductible or another words we pay 100%.

A great deal of consolidation is going on in the market place this year. Why is this important to us? This is increasing their market share and lowering their costs, but its reducing our choice and inevitably will increase our insurance costs. Doctors were the first to feel this pinch, we will feel it next.

This year we saw unusually high renewals for employers. There are many reasons why we are seeing HMO's and PPO's showing 10% to 20%.  One reason is that prescription drugs have increased approximately 20% to 50%. This is extraordinary! This increase in prescription drugs will show up in your drug card in the coming years. For instance, PPO's are bringing formulary and non-formulary medications into our vocabulary. Brand named drugs have been split into two categories: formulary and non-formulary. Formulary are supposed to be lower cost brand names and with more effective. The formulary & non-formulary list is published on most insurance companies web sites and is usually widely known by doctors. By the introduction of this split it  just passes more of the higher priced medication costs on to us. Some of the newest forms coming are ditching generic, brand and formulary and moving towards co-pays based on price alone.  We are also seeing plans that introduce deductibles, coinsurance splits and maximum coverage limits around $6,000 per year.

Another reason costs are rising this year for us is that doctors & hospitals have had enough of their bottom lines being cut and are refusing to lower them any further. Traditional medical inflation is still rising about 14% per year, local hospital systems asked for approximately 20%,  but the other issue's already discussed are taking the lead.

What can we do? Value and Service is becoming even more important than ever before. Its become very important to look for ways to lower your cost while offering excellent benefit programs to your employees. Service is important to make sure the benefits you choose work the way they are supposed to and to educate employees on how to use them.

This is what RP Strategy Group, Inc. is best known for, giving you the best Value and Service.

This web site will allow you after a brief questionnaire to give an apples to apples view of the health insurance market place.

Our smartly colored charts give you most of the information needed to compare over 200 different health plans. Most of the time we have your particular plan in our data base, so we can insert it within the chart format. We do all this with health, disability, life and dental plans. This gives you a great deal of power to determine if you have a good program for the coming year.

How do we get compensated? Our firm doesn't charge a fee for this service. The insurance companies pay us a small commission monthly to keep you happy. Its to our mutual advantage to make you very happy with us over the long term.  We can though charge a consulting fee if you prefer.

Please use our service. If something looks good to you, we would like the first opportunity to put it in place-this is how we get paid. If this is acceptable to you then there won't be any hurt feelings.

Richard Phillippe, President

Dallas, Texas 
(214) 696-4411