May 2011 Archives

(This is the second in a 7 part series about Health Insurance Myths, for the first Myth on Prescription Plans, click here.)

For years, individuals and families that couldn’t afford a standard Medical Insurance Plan had a ‘limited’ program available to them and were not considered ‘insurance’. These programs were generally sparse and covered only a handful of needs.

Today’s Limited Liability Medical Programs still do not meet the standards of ‘medical insurance’, but they are more robust and a great alternative to taking care of the basic medical needs that an individual or family may have in any given year.

These programs do not have an enrollment date, a participation requirement and are guaranteed issue. They are portable and generally offer first dollar reimbursements. These plans can be extremely affordable.

Individuals who are fortunate enough to be able to afford standard ‘health insurance’ or are able to acquire insurance through an employer’s benefit plan, may still consider looking into purchasing a Limited Liability Program and raising their current deductible in order to limit ‘out of pocket’ expenses. These can work very well with Health Savings Accounts.

There are also a number of very creative options that can come with these programs including a 24/7 telephone option to speak to a physician. This is great for traveling, midnight concerns and situations that are practically self-diagnosable. These programs also frequently come with some very basic eye and dental benefits.

Solution 2: To limit your your out of pocket expense consider managing them with a Drug Discount card which contains other savings.

To Print out Immediately your Free Prescription Drug Discount Card, Click Here Now.   (Please limit yourself to (2) cards, thanks.)

Among the many contract and reporting requirements managed by franchise owners, financial covenants – also known as loan covenants – may require review and additional action in 2011.

A new article on our website, Negotiating Fair Financial Covenants, looks at the impact of upcoming regulatory changes on existing financial covenants as the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board and the International Accounting Standards Board collaborate to bring their respective reporting standards into closer alignment this year.

Financial covenants establish benchmark metrics that can ensure a company stays healthy and help lenders mitigate risk. Examples of affirmative financial covenants can include a minimum current ratio, minimum net working capital, and minimum net worth. Common negative financial covenants include a maximum debt/worth ratio, maximum total debt, and other metrics.

Progressive convergence between the two boards’ standards may result in changes in asset and liability classifications. While there is no actual change in liquidity or overall business health, the classification changes can alter covenant ratios and result in a company no longer being in compliance, thereby causing a technical breach. In most cases, issues of this nature can be resolved by going to the bank as soon as the new covenant-related positions are recognized rather than waiting until statements are due. A comprehensive pro forma presentation to the bank provides a meaningful comparison of previous reporting positions to updated reporting positions and sets the stage for a request to modify the covenant appropriately.  

The article looks at a variety of covenant-related areas including preparing for negotiations, understanding the lender’s perspective, as well as reviewing and proactively managing your covenant positions.

It is important to stay ahead of the curve on all covenant issues in today’s tight credit environment. Failure to do so can place an organization at significant risk, while taking time to assess your requirements, prepare thoroughly, and engage in constructive discussions increases the likelihood of positive financial covenant outcomes.

Arthur F. Rothberg is the Managing Director of CFO Edge, a Los Angeles-based group of seasoned chief financial officers who engage with Southern California CEOs and CFOs to provide outsourced CFO services that address strategic planning, business management, and day-to-day financial operations challenges. 

Independent Purchasing Cooperative, Inc. (“IPC”), the franchisee purchasing cooperative for SUBWAY® Restaurants, has integrated Chequed.com’s ChequedFit5™ assessment to deliver greater hiring success in its 24,000+ locations throughout North America. 

The program, delivered through the MySubwayCareer.com hiring portal, allowing SUBWAY® franchisees to maximize the quality of new hires through upfront assessment of all store level candidates.

It uses Web-based technology to determine which candidates can and will excel as Sandwich Artists and Store Managers. 

“Our franchisees realize that hiring a great staff is the first step in delivering a great customer experience. By integratingChequed.com’s pre-employment selection tools into the new MySubwayCareer.com portal, our restaurants can make faster and more accurate hiring decisions,” said Brian Wheeler, Director of Services for IPC. (Subway® IPC is the Independent Purchasing Cooperative for Subway® franchisees.) 

“Chequed.com’s tools are designed to help companies link hiring initiatives to business results,” said Greg Moran, CEO and Founder of Chequed.com. “We customized these tools to specifically serve SUBWAY® in selecting hires who could make the most impact on the company’s goal to offer the ultimate QSR customer experience.” 

  1. Myth 1 - My Insurance Plan provides me with the best pricing for prescription drugs.

Most Insurance Plans provide adequate coverage for prescription drugs, but many of them use a 90 day mail in orders for maintenance medications. 

Some Plans have negotiated discount pricing with the Pharmacies, and they make their money, if they can convince you to participate in the mail order option.

Some Insurance Plans today still offer a ‘fixed’ co-pay amount for each prescription filled.

The co-pay could be $5, $10 $20 or higher. However not all pharmaceuticals cost what the co-pay amount is. If you are not careful, you could be paying a fixed cost of $15 for a prescription that only retails for $3.

If you have health insurance that provides for prescription drug coverage, chances are that the pharmacy or pharmacies you visit keep your information on file in a computer.

Solution 1: Check your prescription costs effortlessly.

Acquire a prescription ‘discount’ card and ask your pharmacist to keep that information on file as well. When you go to fill a prescription, simply ask the pharmacist to check the cost against both programs and go with the least expensive option.

It costs you little or nothing to have multiple options for the pricing of your medications.

To Print out Immediately your Free Prescription Drug Discount Card, Click Here Now.   (Please limit yourself to (2) cards, thanks.)

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2011 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2011 is the previous archive.

July 2011 is the next archive.

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