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Embedded in the continuing resolution that became effective on January 22nd are delays to key taxes that are part of the ACA:
Taken together these delays will help keep the cost of health insurance coverage more affordable for a wide range of clients, from those with individual plans to those covered by employer-based plans.
Instrumental in fighting for these delays was the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU), the organization that represents the interests of agents, brokers and their individual and employer clients. NAHU has built strong relationships with lawmakers and regulators and continually advocates on our behalf. For example, after years of effort NAHU has been successful in winning bi-partisan support from key Senators who introduced a bill earlier this month that would exclude agent and broker commissions from the Medical Loss Ratio formula. Including commissions in the MLR formula is seen as the key reason for the rapid decline in commissions since the implementation of the ACA.
Update: Single-Payer in California
During last year’s legislative session, Senators Lara and Atkins introduced SB 562, legislation that would create a single-payer system in California. If enacted into law, this system would create a state-based agency that would set benefits, collect fees and pay providers, for all Californians. It would eliminate all public coverage such as Medicare and MediCal and would prohibit private insurance. It would eliminate the medical insurance market driving insurance companies out of business and would kill the profession of medical insurance agent and broker.
In June 2017 SB 562, remarkably, was approved by the State Senate even though the bill’s authors did not specify how the estimated $400 billion cost was to be paid. The bill then moved to the State Assembly. Recognizing the many obvious problems with the bill, Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon had the bill set aside and appointed a select committee to study it and alternatives to it. That is where the bill stands today. However, the supporters of the bill are strongly advocating for it to be moved out of the select committee and put on a track for a vote. The action could occur as soon as the next 30 days.
The California Association of Health Underwriters (CAHU) is the state chapter of the national association (NAHU) and has been active in opposing SB 562. CAHU has set up this web page with links to valuable information about the bill and the consequences of its passage, including this slide presentation. If you conclude that SB 562 should be opposed and you are not yet a member of NAHU/CAHU, we strongly encourage you to join and to use the tools provided by these excellent organizations to let your voice be heard by our state legislators. For a limited time, Claremont will help offset part of the cost of your membership (see below).
If you are not yet a member of CAHU and NAHU, we strongly recommend that you join. These organizations provide agents and brokers with excellent professional development opportunities; they provide easy-to-follow instructions on how to get your message to lawmakers and most importantly, they advocate strongly with legislators on your behalf.
To encourage you to join NAHU and CAHU, Claremont will sponsor your membership by paying one month’s dues ($40 value) for the first 15 brokers that contact us. Simply contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to become a member with the Claremont sponsorship.
Contact the small group experts at 800.696.4543 or email@example.com.
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