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Help a Beneficiary Out!

There is currently a bill working its way through the Florida legislature that would require life insurance companies to attempt to find beneficiaries for deceased insureds.  The bill would require the insurance companies to review the Social Security Death Master list once a year and search for the beneficiaries of the deceased’s’ life insurance contracts. You can review the article here (http://www.sun-sentinel.com/business/consumer/fl-life-insurance-death-search-bill-20160222-story.html ) This would be a huge win for consumers, as the insurance industry sits on billions of unclaimed benefits year after year, earning interest on the money.  Currently there is no requirement for finding the beneficiaries and paying out the...

ACA Changes and Delays

During my conversations with my clients, I am often asked what is going to happen to the Affordable Care Act once the new President is elected, especially if it is a Republican candidate.  My answer is always the same. IT WON'T BE REPEALED: I believe that we have traveled too far down the road for an outright repeal of the legislation.  Businesses large and small have spent vast resources on complying with the intricacies of the law, and to suddenly repeal it, would throw the market into chaos.  It would also displace millions of lower income Americans from coverage they were able...

Self-Insurance 101

Below is a 4 minute video from Sun Life, one of the nation’s largest providers of stop loss insurance to self-insured medical plans. I thought it gave a great overview of what self-insurance is, what Stop Loss insurance is, and a brief outline of who self-insurance might be right for. Legislative changes due to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has increased interest in self-insurance.  Sabal Benefits has assisted many of our clients in deciding if a self-insured medical plan is right for them. Please watch the video, and if you are interested in discussing your options further, do not hesitate to contact us. http://www.sunlifesummit.com/video_post/self-insurance-101-a-practical-guide/  ...

A $10,000 Blood Test

Discussing Price Volatility & Transparency in the Healthcare System seems to finally be picking up steam.  Over the last few months, I have seen more and more articles outlining the need for pricing transparency in the healthcare system.  For a long time, the price that was received by the facilities was shrouded in mystery and protected as “trade secrets” by the insurance companies.  In the past few years, with the popularity of HSA High Deductible plans, pricing is starting to creep out into the sun. The article below from VOX illustrates the madness of price volatility as it exists today in...

Welcome to Health Insurance

As someone who is immersed in medical insurance on a daily basis, I sometimes forget that there is a whole population of people out there that have never had the ability to have and interact with medical insurance. I met with a client the other day, and we were discussing some of the questions that were being asked by some of the employees who had just become eligible for the benefit plan under the ACA in January. A common one was why they had to pay anything at the doctors, since they were paying for it out of their paycheck (oh- if...

Why Drugs Cost So Much

There is a great opinion piece in the NY Times from Jan 14th on why prescription drugs costs so much (it can be accessed by clicking on the Link below).  Peter Bach looks at some disturbing trends in the industry and some options to curtail the escalating costs.  Some of the examples are eye popping- $14,000 a month for a lung cancer drug.  Another cancer drug for which the US pays $8,500 a month, while France and Germany pay $3,300 and $4,500 respectively for the same drug.   So what are we to do?  I think there are a couple of takeaways-   1....

Time to Take Care of your Health

I do tons of Open Enrollment meetings every year.  I like to do them.  Whenever I can I discuss health and dental in general terms- how the plans work in the real world, what to look  out for, and some of the things that can go wrong.  I think it si a good thing to impart some skepticism in my clients' employees.  I encourage them to ask questions and seek out solutions that work for them. One fo the messages I find myself repeating over and overagain is that in the last 10 years insurance plans ahve gotten ever more compliaceted,...

When Politics & Reality Collide

There is a fantastic article in the New York Times today that discusses Harvard Professors' reactions to changes in their health insurance plan. As the article points out, these are the same professors that were all in favor of the Affordable Care Act. This is a great example of one of the reasons why our medical delivery system is broken. There is such a discrepancy between the political rhetoric and the actual concrete realities of the system, that until EVERYONE realizes that the current system is unsustainable and everyone is going to have to give up something dear to them, we will...

Killing The Patient…To Save It (?) The Topics of Nursing Home Bankruptcy and Litigation

The New York Times reports that North American Health Care, a California operator of skilled care facilities, is filing for bankruptcy protection.  This would not be a major story outside of the California bankruptcy bar if not for the allegation by plaintiff’s attorneys that the filing by North American is solely a legal tactic to allow the company to avoid paying awards in multiple liability lawsuits from its residents.  This is a similar allegation which has been leveled at nursing homes in Florida and Illinois. [As a disclaimer, Sabal is neutral on this matter.  Regarding this subject, like any emotionally charged issue,...

Changes Coming To Citizens? Wait…and See?

While the State has, for years (decades?) dragged its feet on reforming Citizens, have to give (partial) credit where credit is due…it certainlyappears as though the State (and the OIR) is more committed to reforming Citizens now than at any other time in the past.  This is also one of the first times that – again, appearances count – the State and the OIR have been candid in discussing the real hurdles and market pain that will exist if/when changes to Citizens are made.  Kudos to Kevin McCarty (“You cannot be an alternative market offering affordable insurance and at the...

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Sabal Insurance Group

Sabal Insurance Group specializes in the development of innovative insurance solutions for clients nationally and internationally.   These solutions include comprehensive property and liability programs, general and professional liability, workers’ compensation, auto/fleet, and surety bonds.   Our personal lines department offers homeowners, auto, boat, motorcycle, and recreational vehicle insurance.  We also handle rental properties nationwide, as well as jewelry and fine arts (including the coordination of appraisals and valuations).   Licensed in all 50 states, we serve a diverse client base that spans the United States, Europe, and Latin America from our headquarters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.   Sabal Insurance Group represents multiple insurance carriers, so we offer our clients a wide choice of products and coverages at the best pricing available in the global insurance marketplace. At Sabal, we add exceptional value to insurance and risk management programs through creative placements and aggressive representation of our clients’ interests.