CAHU Survey Finds Most Californians Oppose Single Payer

A telephone survey commissioned by the California Association of Health Underwriters found that three out of four Californians were opposed to single payer health care once they were informed about the associated costs. The survey was conducted by J. Wallin Opinion Research on April 22 through April 26, 2017.

The survey found:

  • Eighty-one percent of Californians are satisfied with the timeliness, cost, quality, availability and accessibility of their current health care coverage with 42 percent of respondents saying they are “very satisfied.”
  • A supermajority (66 percent) opposes legislation establishing universal single payer universal health care with 44 percent strongly opposing the legislative proposal.

When learning about the facts about universal single payer health care, different age groups, demographics and ethnic backgrounds all share opposition to a government run system. “The single payer universal health care law would force Californians to hand over at least $179 billion in new state taxes to pay for a health care system run by the State of California. That translates to costing each California taxpayer $9,100 per year,” said CAHU President Richard Coburn. “This new policy would eliminate employer paid health coverage and shifts health costs to employees.”

Actuaries Weigh In On ACA
Proposals to alter the market rules applying to the individual and small group health insurance markets would likely require changing the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) risk adjustment program, according to the American Academy of Actuaries. Loosening the issue and rating rules, incorporating high-risk pools, allowing sales across state lines, or eliminating federal essential health benefit (EHB) requirements could necessitate changes ranging from minor adjustments to major structural modifications, the Academy said in an issue brief.

“Risk adjustment plays an important stabilizing function in the individual and small group markets, leveling out the differences in risk among enrolled populations through payments to and from insurers,” said Academy Senior Health Fellow Cori Uccello. “The risk adjustment program reduces incentives for insurers to avoid enrolling people at risk of high health spending, thereby supporting the ACA’s protections for people with pre-existing conditions. But some changes in market rules would make it more difficult for the risk adjustment program to operate as intended.”

The ACA risk adjustments shift funds from insurers with relatively healthy enrollee populations to those with less healthy enrollees. The model and formulas used to determine those payments would need to be revised under various health policy proposals, including the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on May 4.

“Some changes, such as incorporating high-risk pooling and increased flexibility in cost-sharing requirements, could require only adjustments to the risk adjustment design,” the Academy’s issue brief notes. “Other changes, such as loosening or eliminating the EHB requirements and allowing sales across state lines, could greatly complicate the design and effectiveness of a risk adjustment mechanism. If states have flexibility in setting benefit and rating rules, the risk adjustment models and payment transfer factors may need to vary by state.”

Read the issue brief, How Changes to Health Insurance Market Rules Would Affect Risk Adjustment, and learn more about the Academy’s health-related public policy work at actuary.org.

VISION

Transitions Optical Launches Updated Calculators to Help Employers and Employees See Value In Vision
Transitions Optical has introduced updated versions of its popular vision benefits savings calculators. Two versions of the calculator are available—one for employers and one for employees.

The online tools are free through the Transitions Healthy Sight Working for You® program. The calculator designed for employers shows users the savings possible by offering a premium vision benefit, while the calculator designed for employees illustrates the savings possible by enrolling in a company vision benefit.

The HR version of the calculator can be found at HealthySightWorkingForYou.org/Calculator.  Additional resources for benefits brokers and HR professionals can also be found within the tools section of HealthySightWorkingForYou.org.

The employee calculator is available at SightOnSavings.org. It prompts employees to enter age, gender and ethnicity to help determine individual risks for developing various vision problems and eye diseases, as well as overall health issues that can be detected through a comprehensive eye exam. The online tool allows employees to see how much they could save—in terms of time, money and sight—by enrolling in and taking full advantage of a company’s vision benefit.

For more information on Transitions Optical, visit the company’s website.

FINANCIAL PLANNING

Edward Jones Financial Advisors: Women Represent Untapped Market
According to the Center for Talent Innovation, 70 percent of women in the United States leave their financial advisor after their spouses die; yet, they hold 39 percent of the estimated $28.6 trillion in investable assets – creating a substantial market opportunity for financial advisors.

To retain more female clients, 64 percent of Edward Jones financial advisors said in a recent survey that the most important strategy is to have both spouses in meetings. The sentiment is consistent across all age groups of financial advisors (65 percent ages 29-44, 64 percent ages 45-63, and 67 percent ages 63+). Other top strategies used to attract and keep female clients include leveraging existing client relationships (29 percent), creating women’s networks (4 percent) and using advertising and social media (3 percent).

Seventy-seven percent of respondents agree that perseverance and confidence are crucial to success as a financial advisor. These results mimic those of a similar Edward Jones study of female financial advisors, in which 80 percent noted confidence as a primary factor impacting leadership, success and career fulfillment. When it comes to taking risks, more than two-thirds (71 percent) of the financial advisors said they feel men are more open to taking risks in their professional career than women, hinting at a confidence gap.

“Women represent 19 percent of our firm’s financial advisor base, relative to just 14 percent of financial advisors in the industry. To increase that number, we are bridging the confidence gap by offering the right programs to build, encourage and provide unique networking opportunities both at Edward Jones and within the industry,” said Katherine Mauzy, principal of Edward Jones Financial Advisor Talent Acquisition. For more information about Edward Jones and their studies, visit the company’s website.