Turner Insurance Reports Increased Flexibility in Coverage Options
Tuesday, February 28th, 2012
Insurance carriers are being increasingly flexible and creative in their product offerings this year following implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) in 2010 and 2011, according to Justin Turner and Mandi Turner Biery of Turner Insurance Services, LLC. In particular, small carriers are trying to be more flexible to stay competitive and keep their products in circulation.
“Carriers are willing to think outside the box to help clients keep coverage,” Justin said. “We’ve seen some rate reductions without significant loss of benefits, which are always welcome.”
Options that are growing in popularity include health savings accounts and self-insured options. In addition, more employers are offering dual options for their employee – one with full benefits and lower deductibles and another that is more affordable.
A family owned and operated business located in Valdosta, Turner Insurance was found in 1983 by Charles Turner, Mandi and Justin’s father. The firm specializes in medical benefits for employee groups and individuals and also provides supplemental coverage such as disability, dental, vision, life and Medicare. Among the carriers that Turner represents are United Healthcare, Consumers Life and BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia.
A Holding Pattern in 2011
With the passage of the PPACA in 2010, also known as Obamacare, many changes in health insurance coverage became effective in 2011. For example, preventative care became 100 percent covered by insurance by law.
“We spent a great deal of time in 2011 meeting with our clients to educate them on the changes under Obamacare. There were positives and negatives to the changes but in general it caused prices to increase,” Justin said.
While Turner experienced some cases where groups were forced to give up coverage due to the price increases, in most cases the firm worked with clients to help them keep coverage. Carriers such as BlueCross BlueShield of Georgia worked to redesign their plans to make coverage more affordable.
“BlueCross BlueShield will launch their new plans this summer and there will be some big changes. We’ll be making our clients aware of them this year,” Mandi said.
Yet even as carriers make changes to remain competitive, the future of Obamacare is still very uncertain. The Supreme Court will consider this summer the constitutionality of certain provisions of the law. Depending on the outcome of the November elections, other steps may be taken to repeal the law. Even if the law remains as it is currently written, the full slate of reforms do not go into effect until the end of 2014.
“We still are in a holding pattern regarding the health care laws but in the meantime it’s exciting to see the creative solutions that are being introduced,” Mandi said.
Staying Abreast of Changes
Turner Insurance stays focused on its clients – their specific needs and what they can afford. They work to stay abreast of the changes and new products in the industry and bring the most attractive options to their clients. For example, BlueCross BlueShield offers about 200 plans and Turner will typically present five options to a client, according to Mandy.
“We offer clients competitive benefits at competitive prices. Cheapest isn’t always best,” Justin said.
“And we’re always here for our clients. We conduct our business in an ethical, professional manner and have a good time doing it.”
More information on Turner Insurance is available at www.turnerinsuranceservicesllc.com or call (229) 247-1616.