With Northwell Health announcing it will shut down its five-year-old insurance arm, CareConnect, in 2018, individuals and companies covered by CareConnect are being strongly advised to waste no time finding suitable alternatives to ensure their coverage continues without interruption.
CareConnect will be unable to continue insuring 400,000 individuals in New York state, where it has operated. CareConnect participants who put off finding a replacement plan, cautions insurance broker Chuck Newman, risk running out of time—and out of critical coverage—when their CareConnect plan expires.
The veteran insurance agent and owner of The Charles J. Newman Company in Peekskill, speaks from a quarter-century of experience writing and managing health insurance policies for small-group and large-group clients.
Plenty of Coverage Options
There is a wide range of health insurance options available to “small group” businesses, defined as a workforce of up to 99 persons. One hundred or more employees qualifies as a “large group.”
“We’re used to fighting battles with insurance companies on behalf of our customers,” he said. “The more than 150 groups his brokerage insures run the gamut in size and type of industry.”
Newman notes that CareConnect is honoring plan renewals only up to Nov. 1, 2017. Plans due to renew by that date will continue for another 12 months. However, he adds, “If your CareConnect plan is due to renew Dec. 1 or later, it will not continue into 2018. Our advice is to find an alternative now—even if you can renew into next year. The clock will be ticking as CareConnect winds down in 2018. With 2018 rates now becoming available, there is enough information on which to base an informed choice.”
Which plan works best for a company depends on the needs of the client and its workforce. A broker is able to work with all health insurers, and can offer multiple plans to a company so its employees have a choice of options. That flexibility means not all employees need to be covered by the same plan.
Work with a Plain-Speaking Broker
It’s important that a company choose a broker who does not rely heavily on trade jargon to explain coverage plans, but can speak plain language to properly explain to employees how coverage works.
As a believer in offering his clients “insurance with benefits,” Newman goes the extra mile to counsel clients on details that can save them money. He notes that a patient asking the right questions in a doctor’s office or a pharmacy can help someone avoid unnecessary expenses on a procedure or prescription. An MRI test, for example, can carry different costs, depending on where it is conducted: a doctor’s office, a radiology lab, or a hospital. He routinely offers coaching to employees to help address their specific needs. The constant goal is to ensure an employee spends no more than necessary on coverage.
A popular presence in fundraising and business networking circles, Newman is being honored for his tireless volunteer efforts by the City of Peekskill on Oct. 23 and by the Westchester County Bar Foundation on Nov. 15.
Nonprofits Can Be Underserved
His insurance brokerage loves to work with nonprofits, which, he says, are vulnerable to being under-served by certain insurance brokers. Based on his observation of the market over the years, he has found that nonprofits “are not always afforded the same level of advice as for-profits.”
As a result, he makes an extra effort to save nonprofits money where possible.
“I know from first-hand experience in my volunteer work how hard it is to raise money, and my saving them money on their plans brings the same positive cash flow to their spreadsheet.”
About the Charles J. Newman Company
Chuck Newman is in his 25th year as a licensed insurance broker. Among his specialties are managing employee benefits and health coverage for non-profit and for-profit organizations, and individual disability and life insurance coverage. Newman also is co-founder of Networking Professionals of Westchester. He can be booked as a guest speaker at no cost or obligation to talk about any insurance topic, or about networking. Chuck can be contacted by phone at 914-345-1000 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, visit charlesnewman.com.
Editor’s Note: This information was provided by APAR PR.