2015 - There's More To Say About Health Insurance and Retirement Savings
I created the BenefitsAll website several years ago but it was not until January 2014 that I added the BenefitsAll blog. My three main reasons for writing the blog are:
- to impart what I have learned over the years handling challenging employee benefit situations
- to point out the skills every top benefits pro needs to be effective, including good writing, analytical and technology skills
- to promote continuous learning that encourages questioning the status quo
Seeing all the high deductible health plans (HDHP) listed on the federal exchange (healthcare.gov) makes me reevaluate my unconditional support for the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare). But because I know that we need an alternative to and an eventual replacement of employer-sponsored health care, I am not promoting repeal of Obamacare, just some major revisions. Non-subsidized Obamacare coverage is too expensive and does not meet the objective of freeing up entrepreneurs to pursue their passions. The not-too-poor but also non-too-rich, healthy young professionals that may be the entrepreneurs of the present and future, are the ones paying the most for health care coverage under Obamacare. We need a fix.
On the wellness front, well I was for workplace wellness long before Obamacare, Consumer Directed Health Plans, Health Savings Accounts, etc. Now I think that a workplace wellness program that can provide real health care costs savings is unlikely. Life is hard and eating lots of good tasting food makes it more bearable. Not to mention that job hopping and the tendency to lapse back into bad habits tend to negate most wellness gains. So bye-bye wellness; I won’t be writing about you anymore.
Obamacare is still getting most of the public’s attention, but retirement plans may be poised to overtake that ranking in the very near future. State and federal government leaders are starting to panic at the prospect of an aging population with insufficient retirement savings. Expect me to write a lot about retirement plan access, costs and fairness.
You see I have some definite opinions about a retirement services industry that makes easy money off of workers trying to save for retirement. I don't mind them making a living off of providing needed services, but I do mind their objection to having their services scrutinized or even second-guessed. When I hear terms like government overreach, over regulation, excessive litigation, or destroying a perfectly good system, it makes me wonder what they really fear. That making hundreds of millions of dollars off of other people's savings with no real risks on their part will become a little harder. Is there such a thing as too much accountability when so much is at stake.
To The Future
My vision of health insurance and retirement planning in America may sound like socialism to some. I do support Medicare For All, with restrictions. I also support medical care price limits and a reduction of workers in the health care industry. And I support federal and state legislation requiring employers to contribute towards their workers’ retirement.
I am loving all of the noisy, scary changes going in the employee benefits field, and I can’t wait to put in my two cents about what I want to see happen.