2% Cut in Medicare Payments – Doctors say WHOA!

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Doctor’s are not happy!
Physicians react to Congress’ vote to cut Medicare payments by 2% in 2023

Congress passed their year-end omnibus legislation recently, which includes a Medicare physician payment cut of 2% in 2023. Physicians had been staring down cuts as much as 8.5%, but a nationwide advocacy campaign by the American Medical Association, California Medical Association (CMA) and more than 150 organizations representing over 1 million physicians helped stave off many of the reductions. However, physicians who care for Medicare patients and CMA are very concerned about how the cut will impact patient access to care.

“Congress’ plan to cut Medicare demonstrates a lack of understanding of the access barriers already plaguing our health care system,” says CMA President Donaldo Hernandez, M.D. “Physicians are frustrated and demoralized because, at a moment when the entire health care system is stressed to its limits, both parties in Congress have decided to ‘thank’ physicians working on the frontlines with cuts that will have devastating impacts.”

This 2% cut, following two decades of flat payment rates with no inflationary updates, will cause irreparable harm to Medicare and our underserved communities. When adjusted for inflation, Medicare physician payments have dropped by 22% from 2001 to 2021. Physicians simply cannot afford to operate under the current payment system. Full story.

Medicare Becomes Bargaining Chip in Debt Ceiling Crisis

The debt ceiling crisis facing Washington puts Medicare and other popular entitlement programs squarely on the negotiating table this year as newly empowered Republicans demand spending cuts. Meanwhile, as more Americans than ever have health insurance, the nation’s healthcare workforce is straining under the load. Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KHN’s chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these topics and more. Link for PODCAST


Feb. 9, 8:00 am PST, OCAHU Annual Sales Symposium, Fullerton. Keynote speaker, Andy Hill, motivational speaker, former president of CBS Productions, and author of the book “Be Quick – But Don’t Hurry: Finding Success in the Teachings of a Lifetime.”  Excellent chance to network, catch up on the most recent news, and learn about exhibitors. For more details


Americans Without Healthcare Coverage Hits All-Time Low
Uninsured rate cut in half since 2010

At a time when it can feel like America’s most pressing problems aren’t being addressed, there’s some very good news on the healthcare front that everyone should know. The percentage of Americans who are uninsured has hit the lowest point in American history — 8% in the first quarter of 2022.
     To add to the drop in the number of uninsured, more Americans than ever before purchased health insurance during the recent Open Enrollment Period through HealthCare.gov and state-based marketplaces.

“The historic 13.6 million people who have enrolled in a health insurance plan so far this period shows that the demand and need for affordable health care remains high,” Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a statement.  Dive deeper here.


Sponsored by UnitedHealthCare

Family Glitch Finally Fixed
More families will spend less on healthcare premiums

Just in time for open enrollment, the federal government finalized a rule, effective Dec. 12, 2022, that fixes the “family glitch” ― a policy that barred millions of workers’ family members from receiving subsidized health insurance through the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplace.
     Due to this change, millions of people could be newly eligible to buy ACA coverage and receive financial help with premiums and deductibles. Nearly half of those newly eligible are families of low-income workers (those earning between 100-250 percent of the federal poverty level, or between $28,000-$70,000 a year for a family of four). Read more. 

Self-Funded Insurance Market: Three Trends To Watch In 2023

Whether you are a first-dollar health plan, a stop-loss carrier/reinsurer, or a plan sponsor, being able to predict utilization and costs is a major part of managing your portion of the self-funded insurance model.
Here are three key trends currently driving utilization and costs:

1. The Covid-19 Hangover
2. Migration And The ‘Great Resignation’
3. Life-Saving Gene Therapy Treatments
Forbes / Read Article

6 Common Mistakes Insurance Brokers Should Fix for 2023
Take time to reflect on what you learned in 2022

By Tom Avery

Before you leave 2022 behind, it’s important to take time to reflect on what you learned to prepare for success in the new year. How successful Q4 2023 is will depend on your work in the three other quarters leading up to open enrollment. Read article here.


Sponsored by StrazzeriMancini.com


Group Health Broker Ponders the Future
Looking for a way to exit the business?

Find out what a fair payout is and how to transfer your clients to the right health insurance professional who will advocate for clients as you have for years. By Phil Calhoun   Read article here.


Roadmap to Delivering Better Value and Outcomes for Patients
Outlined by California’s Office of Health Care Affordability

California took another step toward slowing the escalation of healthcare cost growth with the formal launch of the Office of Health Care Affordability at a briefing in Sacramento on November 30. The long-awaited state agency’s goals are to lower the cost of care by setting spending targets for payers and providers – including hospitals – and ensuring that the money spent delivers better value and outcomes. Full article


Unlocking the Full Potential of Digital Health Benefits for Employees
Employees want clarity and ease of access to the available providers and digital health benefits

Tim Lieb, SVP, Growth and Marketing for Blue Shield of California, recently contributed an article to BenefitsPRO, highlighting the wealth of digital health and wellness apps and how employers can use them to create value for their employees. Full article

Signs Your Employee Benefits Technology Might be Outdated

Technology is reshaping virtually every industry, including human resources. According to the PwC HR Tech Survey 2022, the majority of organizations are using benefits applications with cloud-based human-capital management technology to streamline benefits, payroll, and other human resources tasks.
       Not all employers have fully embraced the possibilities, however. According to the Small Business Benefit Trends report, many small HR teams are working harder than they have to because of outdated processes and systems. These departments have manual processes, which lead to administrative burnout and a lot of wasted resources.
       Benefits administration is the most complex HR process, so it needs current digitized solutions. Outdated systems not only fail in streamlining processes, but they can inhibit efficiency even more. Is your technology outdated?

Here are some signs.
1. You still rely on manual processes
2. You’re dealing with bugs and delays
3. Your team is more advanced
4. You can’t integrate
Read Article


The Art of Transferring Trust

By Dan Clark

Sales professionals want to know: ‘How do I make myself stand out above the competition in every personal and professional category, so people choose me, not just somebody who does what I do?’ Full article here


5 Ways to Set Yourself Up for Success
There is no sure-fire formula for success, but you can be better prepared to create your own

There’s no shortage of pre-packaged success strategies out there. But any formula for success must be personalized, starting with your values and life goals. Here are five ways to better prepare for that personal journey.1. Start with your values, not your goals. Dive in

How Social Media Can Add to Your Well-Being (Not Detract From It)

Social media use can be harmful. The effects are troubling and well-documented, from tragic stories of adolescent life lost to academic research on the psychological harm such platforms can cause, including anxiety, depression, and low self-esteem. 

Yet with 59% of the whole world using social media, for an average of two and a half hours per day, according to a 2022 Broadband search, it has also become inextricable from the daily lives and livelihoods of many. It is not sufficient to say social media is bad, don’t use it. We need a more proactive approach. The question often missing from the discussion is: How can social media use be optimized to enhance our well-being and flourishing? Read more here.

Ten Tips to Keep Work From Taking Over Your Life
The key is not prioritizing your schedule but scheduling your priorities

When work and life feel like they’re in conflict, we can set boundaries and take steps toward better work-life integration. Full article



  • Feb. 2, 2023. 11:30 am – 1:30 pm PST, WIFS “Life Insurance is Love Insurance.In person, Sherman Oaks. Register.
  • Feb. 9, 8:00 am PST, OCAHU Annual Sales Symposium, Spring Field Banquet Center – Fullerton. Keynote speaker, Andy Hill, motivational speaker, former president of CBS Productions, and author of the book “Be Quick – But Don’t Hurry: Finding Success in the Teachings of a Lifetime.” More info.
  • Feb. 22, 10:00 am – 3:00 pm PST, NAIFA San Diego Business Planning Summit. Topics include planning for business owners, business succession planning, life insurance strategies for business owners, employee stock ownership plans, exit strategies and more. Speakers: Nash Subotic, Roy Farmer II, Tom Petersen, Kyle Onstott. Learn More & Register
  • Feb. 23, 2023 10am – 11am CAHIP webinar “Traditional vs. Hybrid Long – Term Care Insurance.” Register
  • Feb. 23, 11:30–1:30 pm PST by Zoom, 70th Annual Will G. Farrell Award & Leadership Recognition Event, sponsored by NAIFA-LA and FSP. Info: janet@wifs-losangeles.org
  • March  4, 9:00-1:30 pm PST, by zoom: WIFS-LA Women’s Forum “Embrace Empowerment.” Info: janet@wifs-losangeles.org


  • April 11-14, Virtual Fourth National Medicare Advantage Summit by Global Health Care, Virtual/Online Live Video; Media Partners: Harvard Health Policy Review, Health Affairs and Inside Health Policy. Phone: (800) 503-0078. Registration@hcconferences.com, Register
  • March 13-15, Ellevate Women’s Leadership 2023 Summit, JW Marriott just outside Las Vegas. Register. 
  • May 8-10, 2023 CAHIP Capitol Summit Sacramento REGISTER HERE

Authors Wanted for California Broker Magazine
Contact linda@calbrokermag.com

Topics needed for March edition due Feb. 6:

  • Nutrition and Health
  • Medicare
  • Life & Annuities