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On Armstrong & Getty Radio Show in 2014




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Appearances on the best radio show in California covering:

  • Difficulties in buying Obamacare for the 'unbanked' 
  • Dodd-Frank limiting Obamacare access 
  • Rate-shock for individuals in the California Exchange
  • Doctor networks in CA Exchange are one-third of normal size 
  • California is mandating a 60-day waiting period limit (as opposed to 90 under PPACA) 
  • Doctors picking up the tab for two months of claims  
  • Charity care hospitals must wait 240 days before sending non-payer to collections 
  • Death spirals of risk  
  • 105(h) discrimination testing
You can hear all Armstrong and Getty Show podcasts here.





CA Lawmakers Seek to Make It Illegal to Reduce Worker Hours Below 30 a Week to Avoid ObamaCare Fines
Craig Gottwals
Attorney at Law
A version of this article is also posted at Cal Watchdog

Law would also penalize employers whose wages are too low to keep employees off of Medi-Cal.  

In the state that seemingly takes pride in demonstrating its economic ignorance and disdain for all things private, our legislature is working to double down on ObamaCare. As the first state to establish an ObamaCare Exchange, California has now set a new bar in government driven healthcare ideology with what some have referred to as CaliCare.   Read more.  

By Craig Gottwals
Employee Benefit Advisor
February 1, 2011

Beginning in 2014 all employers with at least 50 employees must buy comprehensive heath insurance for all full-time employees or pay a penalty of $2,000 dollars per employee.

With the average cost of health care per employee around $8,000 by 2014, some employers will exit the health care marketplace and pay the fine. An employer could drop health coverage, pay a fine, even give employees a raise, and end up ahead.

Instead, assume that an employer chooses to keep the social contract with its employees and continues offering health insurance beyond 2014. PPACA will mandate the minimum levels of benefits that may be offered, as well as how much an employer may ask an employee to contribute toward the overall premium.

A typical family coverage plan could easily cost $20,000 in 2014. In fact, some already do. Under PPACA, an employer will not be allowed to charge an employee more than 8% of that employee's annual household income.  Read more ...



Tortured Logic and That Pesky Truth
The shaky logic behind PPACA and the Commerce Clause
By Craig Gottwals
May 1, 2011
Employee Benefit Adviser Magazine 


The Obama administration’s already tortured logic regarding the Constitution’s Commerce Clause and PPACA’s individual mandate has been dealt several body blows so far.

Three of the five federal courts that have ruled on the merits of the constitutional challenges to the law have ruled that Congress does have the authority to compel individuals to purchase private health insurance. Their analysis boils down to the legal propriety of congressional interpretation of the Commerce Clause, which states that Congress has the authority, “to regulate Commerce … among the several States ...”

The arguments in support of PPACA’s individual mandate essentially boil down to the fact that a decision by a person to not purchase insurance is an economic action that impacts “commerce among the states.”... Link to remainder of article


Health Insurance Audit Brings Relief to Bankrupt Hospital
By Dev Mahadevan
Employee Benefit News
March 2008

Having been in the health care industry as long as I have, I am aware it is no secret that hospitals are in a state of crisis. Insurance rates have jumped 93% for hospitals since 2000.

Meanwhile, revenues are up 3%, and operating costs have gone up 5% per year. In short, two out of every three hospitals in California are losing money, something that is sure to lead to a public health crisis. Read more...



A Health Insurance Audit Can Help Reduce Company Premiums
By Dixon Greer
Construction Business Owner
August, 2006


This year, one out of ten construction workers will be accidentally injured. Because of this statistic, insurance carriers often view the construction industry as one of the most dangerous industries, even though the employees match a more positive insurance profile and lead healthy active lives. As a result of this perception, construction companies are offered some of the highest insurance premiums.

High insurance premiums can place a strain on a company's profit margin. Human resource departments can help keep companies financially viable by finding ways to cut benefit costs without losing much-needed coverage. One way they can accomplish this is by conducting a health insurance audit. Since most carriers inflate rates based on inaccurate risk assumptions, conducting a health insurance audit can help carriers focus on the positive profiles to get a better rate. Read more ..


Broker Helps Lower Premiums for California Nonprofits
By Steve Davold
Employee Benefit News
April 1, 2006


Without the Center for Employment Training, Silicon Valley would be a lot like Bedford Falls without George Bailey - that is, just another Potterville. At least that's the dark alternate future as insurance executive Dixon Greer sees it.

"CET drives 1,000 kids a year through their program," Greer says. "These are kids that come up hard, that come from tough neighborhoods. They come out of CET as truck drivers, cooks, janitors."

The laudable mission of the nonprofit, job-training institution helps explain why the president of San Jose, Calif.-based Liberty Benefit Insurance Services went all out to lower the Center's insurance premiums. Read more ...


Healthcare Mandates Infecting California
By Katy Grimes
California Watchdog
September 16, 2011

Excerpt: According to health insurance expert Craig Gottwals, an employee benefits attorney for Liberty Benefit Insurance Services and instructor at the University of California, in 2014 all employers with at least 50 employees must buy comprehensive heath insurance for all full-time employees, or pay a penalty of $2,000 dollars per employee.

“With the average cost of health care per employee around $8,000 by 2014, some employers will exit the health care marketplace and pay the fine. An employer could drop health coverage, pay a fine, even give employees a raise, and end up ahead,” Gottwals explained.

A typical family coverage plan could easily cost $20,000 in 2014, and currently some plans already do. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, an employer will not be allowed to charge an employee more than 8 percent of that employee’s annual household income for health insurance. ... Link to Article


Free Audits Lift Insurance Brokerage
By Kathy Robertson
Sacramento Business Journal
June 15, 2003


A new company in town is shaking up local insurance brokers by offering to take a free look at what employers pay for benefits, to see if it can get them a better deal.

If Liberty Benefit Insurance Services of San Jose can't save the employer money, it doesn't charge a fee. But if Liberty finds savings, it keeps 30 percent. Read more...


Healthcare Reform Requires Calculated Prudence
By Craig Gottwals
Auburn Journal
August 21, 2009


Congress’s present attempts to reform our healthcare system are desperately needed but gravely misguided. By focusing on the expansion of care to the uninsured before addressing the true issue, escalating costs, congress places the cart in front of the horse.

Health reform must include:
  1. Tax Breaks to Businesses Who Offer Comprehensive Wellness Programs. The CDC estimates approximately 70% of healthcare costs are controlled by preventable lifestyle choices. We need to reign in the uncontrolled obesity epidemic. 1 in 3 children are now overweight or obese. More than 25% of people are obese in two-thirds of our states. 
  2. Tort reform to lessen unnecessary law suits, thereby, reducing unwarranted defensive medicine practices. 
  3. Reduction in Medicare and Medicaid Fraud. 4-10% (at least $72 Billion a year) of the cost of Medicare/Medicaid directly results from fraud. 
  4. More Private Competition, Not a Public Plan. Our government rarely reduces cost effectively. A public plan would eventually crowd out private plans and lead to healthcare rationing. 
  5. Greater Claims Transparency for Employers. If any portion of an employer’s premium increase is based upon that employer’s claim experience, the insurance companies MUST be compelled to share that claim experience.

HMOs Profit From Premium Hikes
By Kathy Robertson
Sacramento Business Journal
May 22, 2005


Kaiser Permanente earned more cash and had a higher profit margin last year than WellPoint Inc., even though Kaiser is nonprofit and WellPoint is a public company that expects to earn money for shareholders.

All six HMOs that dominate the Sacramento market posted strong finances in 2004. Even Health Net, which took a beating in a dispute over payments to doctors, squeezed out net income of more than $42 million. Read more ...