Limited Benefits Health Insurance Plans

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Comments (8)

Josh in Boston, Massachusetts

111 months ago

Hi Everyone,

I am doing some research on limited benefits insurance plans, also known as short-term benefits or mini-meds. They are typically low-deductible insurance plans with a very low premium. They cover basic benefits, but generally have a yearly cap of $5000-10000 and do not cover catastrophic injury or disease. I am trying to understand the demands for these types of plans in different states and in different industries. Does anyone know anything about them? I can send some more information if anyone would like to know more. The specific questions I'm trying to answer are:

1. How many people are currently enrolled in limited benefit plans in the United States? Is this number increasing or decreasing? Are these plans becoming more or less popular.

2. What types of companies are likely to offer these plans? I know that Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Friendly's, and a large hair salon chain currently offer them.

3. Have any of your companies considered offering plans like this? What is the difference between these plans and consumer-driven health plans (high-deductible coupled with an HSA)?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

Thanks,

Josh

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Ben McCann in Indianapolis, Indiana

104 months ago

Josh, I will attemt to answer:
A1: number not known, but increasing in popularity as a cost containment tool, not as a replacement tool, but can be dovetailed within an overall benefit design strategy with a Self Funded or Fully Insured Plan. You can customize this to lower costs and limit liability at the same time to the employer and employee. Do not use this as a replacement for a "Major Medical Plan" these are "Limited Benefit" plans and need to be communicated as such.

A2: Yes, mostly low paid high turnover national brands and franchises offer these plans. there is an increasing trend in using them in other markets as well such as manufacturing and distribution organizations within a fully insured or self funded plan to create premium savings to an employer and employee depending on the contribution strategy. This is also offered to PT and Non Management Employees who are not eligible fore the "real" insuance based on Class Descriptions.

A3: These should not be used to replace a Major Medical Plan, again LIMITED BENEFIT means that communication is important if you will begin to offer this to employees. H.S.A. and CDHP's along with HRA plans can work well with MINIMED's but they are apples and oranges and it impossible to compare the 2. We use a complex calculation tool to help dovetail plans like these within a Total Solution oriented benfits design. There is no one size fits all.

I hope this helps... Feel Free to call me at [Contact information has been removed by a forum moderator] I work for TRIPLEPOINT CONSULTING

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PAUL L in Bowdoin, Maine

104 months ago

Josh in Boston, Massachusetts said: Hi Everyone,

I am doing some research on limited benefits insurance plans, also known as short-term benefits or mini-meds. They are typically low-deductible insurance plans with a very low premium. They cover basic benefits, but generally have a yearly cap of $5000-10000 and do not cover catastrophic injury or disease. I am trying to understand the demands for these types of plans in different states and in different industries. Does anyone know anything about them? I can send some more information if anyone would like to know more. The specific questions I'm trying to answer are:

1. How many people are currently enrolled in limited benefit plans in the United States? Is this number increasing or decreasing? Are these plans becoming more or less popular.

2. What types of companies are likely to offer these plans? I know that Wal-Mart, McDonald's, Friendly's, and a large hair salon chain currently offer them.

3. Have any of your companies considered offering plans like this? What is the difference between these plans and consumer-driven health plans (high-deductible coupled with an HSA)?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks a lot.

Thanks,

Josh

JOSH I HAVE THE SAME TYPE OF QUESTIONS ABOUT LIMITED HEALTH PLANS. DID YOU GET ANY ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ON THE SUBJECT ?
PAUL -MAINE

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benefitsben in Indianapolis, Indiana

104 months ago

Josh & Paul, I will attemt to answer:
A1: number not known, but increasing in popularity as a cost containment tool, not as a replacement tool, but can be dovetailed within an overall benefit design strategy with a Self Funded or Fully Insured Plan. You can customize this to lower costs and limit liability at the same time to the employer and employee. Do not use this as a replacement for a "Major Medical Plan" these are "Limited Benefit" plans and need to be communicated as such.

A2: Yes, mostly low paid high turnover national brands and franchises offer these plans. there is an increasing trend in using them in other markets as well such as manufacturing and distribution organizations within a fully insured or self funded plan to create premium savings to an employer and employee depending on the contribution strategy. This is also offered to PT and Non Management Employees who are not eligible fore the "real" insuance based on Class Descriptions.

A3: These should not be used to replace a Major Medical Plan, again LIMITED BENEFIT means that communication is important if you will begin to offer this to employees. H.S.A. and CDHP's along with HRA plans can work well with MINIMED's but they are apples and oranges and it impossible to compare the 2. We use a complex calculation tool to help dovetail plans like these within a Total Solution oriented benfits design. There is no one size fits all.

I hope this helps... Feel Free to call me at [Contact information has been removed by a forum moderator] I work for TRIPLEPOINT CONSULTING

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Doris Waller in Wylie, Texas

96 months ago

Josh & Paul I think I can help:

1. The numbers are increasing every year. As a matter of fact just the number of Carriers offering some form limited medical plan has increased to approx. 40 within 5-yaers so that should be the best indicator of how viable limited medical plans are.

2. These days most every company is a prospect for Limited Medical Plans and for those that have a tradiional major medical program in place they should keep that program in place and offer a LMP to their large uninsured employee population (average is 40-50%), those that can not afford their share in the cost much less afford to add their dependents. Key markets also include Transportation (1099 and W2); Security Guard; Nursing Homes; Mfg'ing; Construction; Hospatility; etc.

3. Limited Medical Plans should not be compared to HSA's; HDHP; catistropic plans because there is no comparison. The key here is that many employers can not afford to offer these plans due to cost; high participation and contribution requirements, not to mention the heavy administrative burdens that come with them. LMP's are affordable, easy to obtain, easty to enroll, easy to adminster.

Good Luck!
Thanks,
Doris Waler
Your Expert Source for "Limited Medical Plans"

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Jack E in Bristol, Rhode Island

95 months ago

I am also interested in learning more about the size of this market (number of covered lives, premium), its growth rate and direction in light of new health policies that are being formulated by the incoming administration. Are there newsletters that cover this segment of the Health Benefit Market? Thanks.

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Bruce L in Austin, Texas

86 months ago

Doris Waller in Wylie, Texas said: Josh & Paul I think I can help:

1. The numbers are increasing every year. As a matter of fact just the number of Carriers offering some form limited medical plan has increased to approx. 40 within 5-yaers so that should be the best indicator of how viable limited medical plans are.

2. These days most every company is a prospect for Limited Medical Plans and for those that have a tradiional major medical program in place they should keep that program in place and offer a LMP to their large uninsured employee population (average is 40-50%), those that can not afford their share in the cost much less afford to add their dependents. Key markets also include Transportation (1099 and W2); Security Guard; Nursing Homes; Mfg'ing; Construction; Hospatility; etc.

3. Limited Medical Plans should not be compared to HSA's; HDHP; catistropic plans because there is no comparison. The key here is that many employers can not afford to offer these plans due to cost; high participation and contribution requirements, not to mention the heavy administrative burdens that come with them. LMP's are affordable, easy to obtain, easty to enroll, easy to adminster.

Good Luck!
Thanks,
Doris Waler
Your Expert Source for "Limited Medical Plans"

Doris,

What are the companies you represent that sell limited Benefit plans?

Bruce

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Melissa in Pretoria, South Africa

66 months ago

Hi

Im currently working on a assignment for benefit trends but im struggeling with this question could anyone help me? How the involving of Benefit Trends will influence you as a HR Manager

kind Regards
Melissa

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