Insurance Fundamentals

It’s been a tough few years for health insurance professionals. But, it’s been toughest on families and small businesses. Regulatory and political confusion grows with each passing day. Another mother with a sick child wilts from the double-talk, back-tracking, and double-cross – and that’s just her health plan. She must still suffer the hollow promise…

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The Health Care Reform Circus

In a loss deeply felt by grown-ups, the “Greatest Show on Earth” from Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey will close forever in May. The Show featured a three-ring circus that overwhelmed and forced us to choose which of the simultaneous acts to watch. In choosing, we often missed something more exciting in another ring.…

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DOL Sues Spokane-Based Association Health Plan

On February 24th, the United States Department of Labor (DOL) sued Associated Industries of the Inland Northwest, Associated Employers Health and Welfare Trust, Associated Industries Management Service, Inc. (AIMS), and several individuals responsible for managing the Trust. DOL alleges “fiduciary breaches, prohibited transactions, and knowing participation in same.” The thirty-one page civil suit against the…

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Is free HR software an illegal inducement to buy insurance?

In December, the Washington State Insurance Commissioner ordered Zenefits to charge a market price for “use of its online, cloud-based, software platform that integrates the administration of human resources, payroll, and employee benefits.”  The Commissioner found that “free access to valuable software functions” constituted an illegal inducement to purchase insurance. Competing insurance brokers complained to the Commissioner that Zenefits’…

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