We want to welcome two new members to our organization.

Joe Fletcher has joined KBA as a sales associate. He comes to us with a background in various business ventures. Joe has been a radio announcer, a home builder and realtor to name a few of his endeavors.

Connie Gerhardt recently joined us as our office assistant and customer service specialist. Connie has a strong background in customer service. She is the person to handle any of your enrollment or termination issues and soon will be able to help you with any claim problems.

We are sure you will find our new associates professional and helpful.

For Employers

As the cost of health insurance continues to escalate, many employers are looking to ways to hold these increases to minimum. One of the biggest pieces of these increases is the cost of the drug card. Here are some ideas to help keep the cost of your drug card down:

  1. Increase the copays on your card. If you currently have a $5/ $10 card you can save a considerable amount by going to a $10/$20 or a $15/$25 card. Yes, your employees will have to pay more for a prescription, but only up to the new maximums, which are still very generous since the average brand prescription now costs around $65.
  2. Add a formulary part to your card. This plan provides certain brand drugs at a reduced cost. For instance, if a brand drug is on the approved list the cost may be $20, versus $35 if it is not on the approved list.
  3. By adding an upfront annual deductible before the employee gets to use the card at the copays can decrease the cost of a card by 10-15%. The most common deductible is $100. This means employees must pay the first $100 of prescription drugs before they can get drugs at the copay.
  4. Finally, by putting an annual limit on the drug card you can lower the cost of the card by 15-20%. The minimum limit we recommend is at least $10,000 to $15,000 annually. Statistically, less than ½ of one percent of people will go over $10,000 a year in prescription drugs.

While none of these suggestions are desirable, they may be necessary or the cost of a drug card may become so prohibitive an employer might have to drop the drug card altogether.

For Individuals

As we discussed in our previous newsletter, term insurance has changed. In some cases the changes are minimal, in others ways it is very dramatic.

Before these changes, when you bought a term specific policy, say 15 years, the premiums and the death benefit were guaranteed level for 15 years. Also, the policy was usually convertible for that period too. That meant you could convert your term policy to a permanent policy without providing prove of you insurability. This was particularly beneficial if your health was not good and you wanted the insurance beyond the original term.

As of the beginning of the year some of these things have changed. A term policy may not guarantee the premiums to stay level for the entire term. We see a lot of 15, 20 and 25 year term policies that only offer a ten year rate guarantee.

Also, many policies may only allow you to convert during the first five or ten years. That's not so good if you have a 15 year policy and your health deteriorates after the tenth year.

If you are looking into buying a term policy there are still some great deals out there. But you have to know what you are buying. Please feel free to contact us and we will be more than happy to help you find the policy that best suits your needs.