Blue Cross Healthy Actions Rider for small groups, a client recent received a credit over $11,000!
















You have Blue Cross but do not have this rider?

Why not!!

If you have under 50 employees and have Blue Cross as your health insurance.  You are crazy if you do not have their Healthy Actions rider!!

No matter what health plan you have with Blue Cross the one “FREE” thing you have is an annual physical.   Not only is there no co-payment but all blood and urine tests associated with this annual well care physical are done at no cost to you.

The sad thing is Blue Cross has found that many employees, however, still do not have their physical and have come up with this rider (Healthy Actions).  It does add cost to your monthly premium:

  1. 1 employee:  2.5%
  2. 2-9 employees:  1.25%
  3. 10-49 employees:  .04%

Your employees need to do three things:

  1. complete an online health risk questionnaire online after they register with the vendor who handles Healthy Actions
  2. bring their questionnaire to their doctor for their free annual physical

Click here for a good tutorial.   At this point there are two results after the doctor submits questionnaire with his comments:

  1. Employee is in good health and gets a $300 gift card
  2. Employee is give goals to improve their health and get a gift card for $100.  If they hit their goal then they get the other $200.

Here is where it get interesting the employer will receive a year end refund based on the percentage of employees who earn the $300.


Percent of employees who earn the full $300 reward Your reward is…
20-49% 1.25% of current year’s premium
50-79% 2.50% of current year’s premium
80-100% 7.50% of current year’s premium

*The premium reward is based on total premiums paid during the full 12-month contract period.

We recently had an employer have a completion percentage of 80% when 8 of his 10 employees received the $300.   This resulted in a credit of over $11,000 !!!!  If you have Blue Cross, you need to look into this rider.   If you have any questions send us an e-mail.  

Blue Cross of Massachusetts

Prager U Single-Payer Health Care: America Already Has It

Forget about Medicare and Medicaid.
This video is about the VA..

Health Insurance rates, Single Payer

Delta New Total Choice PPO Rates 20% Lower Then Premier


Delta Dental of Massachusetts has about 2.2 million members on their plans, with the large majority on their plan Premier Network Plan.     The state has just approved, however, a lower cost Delta Dental Plan called Total Choice PPO.  

In order for the Total Choice PPO to have lower rates for employers/employees, Delta Dental has a lower reimbursement to the dentists for Total Choice versus Premier.  Delta Dental says that rates for Total Choice are close to 20% less then Premier, while dentists maintain the reimbursement can be as much as 30% lower for Total Choice versus Premier.  

If you have Delta Premier and want to see if Total Choice will work for you or just want to get a quote on Total Choice, send us an e-mail


Dental Insurance

Minuteman Health starting to become an option in Central Mass



Any HMO is only as good as their network.    Many times clients will hear an advertisement and ask for a quote, then we have to tell them that there are no doctors or hospitals in their area that can accept them.   That was the case with Minuteman Health.

Although Minuteman does not stack up well against companies like Blue Cross, Tufts and Harvard network wise, they are starting to be a viable option in Central Massachusetts. .  Recently they have added Reliant Medical and Southboro Medical into our network of physicians to go along with St. Vincent’s Medical Group, CMIPA, and Metro West Medical Center.

If you would like a quote send us an e-mail.  






We are strong in Merrimack Valley, North Shore, South Shore, South Coast, New Hampshire, and other areas of Massachusetts for both Large Group and Small Group business.


I would like to set up a time to stop out and visit with you to talk about what Minuteman Health care offer your clients.


I will be in Worcester on Tuesday next week (July 25th).  Would that day work or is there a day over the next couple of weeks that would work better?


Please let me know.




Health Insurance Quotes, Minuteman Health

Should you keep your dependent children on your plan as dependents thru age 26? No!!

Recently we ran into a small family owned company, where the owner has himself (58), spouse (48) and two children (age 22 and age 25) were covered on his plan as one family.   The health insurance company will quote this as a one family (58) with three dependents (48-25-22).

One thing I forgot is that all the family members are on the payroll.   We changed the coverage to four singles (50-48-25-22).   Now you would think that since the same four members are covered that the rates would be the same, right?


Breaking these four into singles dropped their rates 15%!!!


Health Insurance rates

Are you paying too much for your health insurance?

At Advantage Benefits we are contracted with all the major carriers:

  1. Blue Cross
  2. Tufts
  3. Harvard-Pilgrim
  4. Fallon
  5. Health New England
  6. United

Most companies do not have the time to reach out to all of these carriers and request quotes when their health insurance renews.  Let us do it for you!!!!

E-mail us a census that contains:

  1. Date of Birth for employees on the health insurance
  2. Next to each employee, we need dates of births for any dependents that are covered

That’s it!!!  Best part we can do all of this through e-mails!!    Why not find out if you can save some money today, send us an e-mail.

If you are still not sure what we do, check out this video on our website.


Health Insurance Quotes

Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) starting to make sense for all size businesses

In the past many clients asked about setting up a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) that would allow employees to defer monies on a pre-tax basis to pay un-reimbursed medical expenses.  Not only a good deal for your employees but for the employer who saves on the matching FICA (7.65%).  
We would usually recommend against it, however, two things have changed and we now strongly recommend an FSA.  
Administration Costs have dropped
We are working with a new vendor whose pricing is very aggressive.    The rates below are for the complete administration of your FSA for 12 months and include the debit cards: 
  • 1-9 ees      = $     750 
  • 10-19 ees  = $  1,050
  • 20-49 ees  = $  1,350
  • 50-99 ees  = $  1,750
  • 100 +           negotiated 

**  There is an additional charge the first year of $300 for the plan documentation 

$500 roll-over and the FSA Store
Besides the cost the install to administer an FSA plan, the other major stumbing block was the employees were afraid of “use it or lose it”.    

First the IRS now allows you to roll-over $500.  

Second, what if you have more then $500 and you don’t want to lose your monies?  Go to the FSA store and buy FSA eligible products  



As employers have shifted to plans with higher and higher deductibles and co-payments, the need for an FSA has increased dramatically.   At the same time administration costs have dropped and the “lose it” part of “use it or lose it” has become less daunting, what are you waiting for??? 

Send us an e-mail today and start saving money for both you and your employees on their un-reimbursed medical expenses


*  We can add daycare if this is something you desire.


Harvard-Pilgrim has added a telemedicine benefit

A few months back we told you how Blue Cross had added a telemedicine benefits that they called  Telehealth at additional cost.   Click here for the four page summary of Telehealth from the Blue Cross website.  We predicted then that other carriers would follow suit with a similar benefit.

Today we would like to let you know that Harvard-Pilgrim has added a telemedicine benefit called Doctor on Demand.   What is telemedicine??

Telemedicine is commonly referred to as a virtual visit or a video visit. Members see a doctor through real-time, Skype-like technology—using a smart phone, tablet or computer. This allows them the option to get care without needing to travel to a provider’s office or urgent care center. Coverage is primarily for on-demand, minor urgent care medical visits such as cold and flu, rashes and skin issues, upset stomach, and pediatric issues.

Here is a great video on the benefits of telehealth

Per usual if you have any questions on this, any other health insurance issue or would like a health insurance quotes, send us an e-mail.


New Blue Cross of Massachusetts find a doctor estimating tool

Click here for the link
Video from their Facebook page below

Blue Cross of Massachusetts

Delivery of healthcare becoming more retail

The only way you can control the costs of health insurance premiums is to control the cost of claims.   Providing universal health insurance, as we found out, does not magically control the cost of claims and keep health insurance premiums.

One way to cut the cost of claims is to provide services in locations that have lower overhead then a hospital or emergency room.  First thought that comes to mind is your doctor’s office, but we all know how tough that can be to get an appointment.

The answer are urgent care clinics and they are starting to pop up everywhere.  In Worcester we have ReadyMed with four locations in Auburn, Hudson, Milford and Shrewsbury, with a new one being built on Shrewsbury Street.

This is not the only one.   Urgent Care has recently opened a storefront in Holden, Doctors Express also opened on Stafford Street in Worcester and don’t forget about all the urgent care clinics in the various pharmacies.

Remember not only does the health insurance company lower their claims which keep insurance premiums down, but you will save money in co-payments when you utilize these facilities!!!







Health Insurance rates