Taxing Employer-Funded Health Insurance Would be a Disaster

Newsweek recently released an article written by Janet Trautwein of NAHU that outlines the intent of legislators and policymakers to end the “employer exclusion,” which exempts employer-sponsored health benefits from income and payroll taxes. The article uncovers the detriment of that decision and its effect on rising healthcare costs and employer-sponsored benefits.

Click here to view the article.


Of note, Cornerstone is now part of the NAHU advisory board for Medicare.

Options for the Smallest Employers

Kim Kinnaird | Director, Employee Benefits

Life as an Ohio Health Insurance Agent continues to be interesting, to say the least. What was good advice even a year ago can be completely irrelevant now. Good times.

Employers, in particular, have to be feeling a little whiplash by now especially sole proprietors and the very smallest, fledgling businesses staffed by spouses or close family members.

Many of these businesses purchased individual policies when carriers moved away from one-person “groups.” They no longer allowed two spouses who worked for a business to count as two employees or instances where a parent and child under age 26 worked for the business.

In years past, because of subsidies and carrier reimbursements from the federal government, individual coverage was expected to be more affordable than group coverage in the ACA products. Health underwriters rightly surmised that only people who could not renew with a grandfathered or transitional (aka Grandmothered) plan because of added risk would be looking for group health coverage under ACA and ACA rates rose. That is not necessarily the case moving forward.

In 2018 there will be many counties in Ohio where there are limited carrier choices and still others with no options for individual coverage. So now, brokers need to revisit group coverage options for these very small groups and the participation requirements.

Cornerstone agents will have access to a grid of key questions on the Broker Centric website that answers these critical questions across multiple carriers and their product lines. Contact your Cornerstone representative for questions.

FormFire Quoting for 4th Quarter in Northern Ohio

The Results Are In!

Cornerstone has confirmed FormFire’s quoting engine accuracy to generate fourth quarter quotes. Here are some reminders:

  • Quotes will be returned in Microsoft Excel format. You’ll only need to add your logo and the current/renewal plans OR you can copy/paste into an existing document.
  • A standard disclaimer is included on the quote. We recommend retaining it on what you share with the customer.
  • Streamlined into a smaller list of plans from Cornerstone’s “Quote Profile.” In our Profile, we pull the most popular and common plan design options from each carrier. Click here for the list of plans in the quote profile (you can always request specific plan options or all plans).
  • Results are 1% or better—see the table below
  • Aetna
  • Anthem
  • MMO
  • UHC
  • 99.999%
  • 99.999%
  • 99.987%
  • 99.990%

Of course, if you still prefer actual quotes from the carrier, you can request those up front as well.

We also recommend that you have a specific quote generated if you are going to recommend a plan or carrier change. (If you sell the case, we’ll need to run an actual quote as well to submit with sold case paperwork.)

How we validated the results:

  • We pulled quotes for each age band in each rating area covering northern Ohio.
  • We compared actual quotes with the same census files and zip codes as FormFire.
  • We discussed results outside the norm with FormFire who reached out to the carriers to ensure they had matched the quoting methodology as closely as possible. PLEASE NOTE: Methodology is proprietary so exact matches are not possible, but if within 1–2%, FormFire considers the quotes accurate.

Please let us know if you have questions or concerns about this approach to handling your quotes. We believe this will be more efficient for you and your team!

Attached are the contacts for offices in your area:

  • Cleveland (click here)
  • Lima (click here)
  • Toledo (click here)

Cornerstone & The Dental Care Plus Group present: DENTAL 101 & VISION 101 (CE Credit)

Cornerstone and The Dental Care Plus Group present:


Join Cornerstone and The Dental Care Plus Group for Dental 101 and Vision 101 training and earn 2 CE credits.​

DATE: August 16, 2017

TIME: 10:00 am–12:00 pm

LOCATION: The Hampton Inn

986 E State St., Athens, OH 45701

Training Schedule

10:00-11:00 | Vision 101

11:10-12:00 | Dental 101


Click here to RSVP.

University Hospital Joins Medical Mutual SuperMed Networks

Medical Mutual has announced that, effective October 1, 2017, University Hospitals main campus will join the Medical Mutual SuperMed network (PPO, POS, HMO, Preferred, and OhioMed) in Northeast Ohio. The following facilities will be in network:

  • UH Cleveland Medical Center—including MacDonald Women’s Hospital
  • UH Seidman Cancer Center
  • UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital
  • UH Bedford Medical Center

All other UH facilities remain in the SuperMed network.

Effective October 1, 2017, all UH facilities will also be part of Medical Mutual’s Medicare Advantage and individual product networks (with the exception of OhioHealth HMO, Mercy HMO, and ProMedica HMO). Members in these networks will no longer be required to obtain a waiver or go through an exception process to obtain services at UH’s facilities.


Not appointed with Medical Mutual? Contact us today to get started!

Employee Benefits: CE Training and Product Update Opportunity in Northwest Ohio!


Cornerstone and Anthem BlueCross BlueShield invite  you for training on Voluntary Benefits (CE credit) and Anthem Small Group Specialty plans!

Disclaimer: Locations are subject to change.

DATE: August 16, 2017

TIME: 10:30–12:30


4444 Keystone Drive Suite F | Maumee, OH 43537

DATE: August 17, 2017

TIME: 10:30–12:30


3745 Shawnee Road Suite 104 | Lima, OH 45806

Click here to RSVP.

Not contracted with Anthem? Contact Cornerstone today to get started!


Humana Browser Compatibility Tool

Humana has recently reported that its PDFs and Humana MarketPOINT University Computer-Based Training modules are not compatible with Google Chrome because it no longer supports flash. Humana recommends using any of the following browsers to access these documents and links:

  • Internet Explorer
  • Edge
  • Firefox
  • Safari

The company has developed a browser compatibility tool that will help you determine which browsers you have on your laptop, smartphone, etc. that are compatible and provide links to download the appropriate browsers.

Click here to access HMU Browser Capability Check.



Google Chrome Browser Issues


Join Cornerstone and Anthem for Lunch and Learn Specialty Benefits Training in Columbus (CE Credit)

Join Cornerstone and Anthem for a lunch and learn training session discussing small group specialty benefits for CE credit.

We will discuss:

  • What are voluntary insurance products
  • What employers are considering voluntary insurance products
  • Who purchases voluntary insurance products
  • Key success factors with regards to enrollment and re-enrollment in voluntary insurance products


DATE: August 24, 2017
TIME: 10:30 am–12:30 pm
LOCATION: Anthem’s Columbus Office
6740 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43085

Click here to RSVP.

RSVP: Selling Washington National Worksite presented by Mike Judge

Join Cornerstone and Washington National’s Mike Judge for a look at how their suite of worksite products can benefit your business.

Receive a free CE VOUCHER for attending!


Reasons to attend: 

  1. Gain wider sales opportunities from clients through alternative enrollment choices.
  2. Benefits of an agency force commission structure that attracts talent.
  3. Advantages of direct carrier home office case building and decision making support.
  4. Receive access to product selections for individual and small case markets

Click here for more information.


Thursday, August 10, 2017 | 1:30 pm

Cornerstone Media Center

2101 Florence Avenue | Cincinnati, OH 45206

Click here to RSVP.

Humana July Updates

Effective June 16th, Humana discontinued the claims cost transparency tools for Group Commercial and Humana One members.  The tool was underutilized by Humana members (based on web hits) and there was little to no evidence that members who did use the tool were ultimately selecting a more cost effective provider or place of service to receive their care.

Humana’s 4 popular bonus programs have been extended: Level Funded Premium bonus, Specialty Bundling Bonus, 100+ medical bonus, and Workplace Voluntary Benefits Bonus. See the resources below for more details.

In an effort to focus on core wellness solutions, Humana will only be offering EAP/Work-life Solutions and Go365 on a standalone basis.  As of 7/1 Goal Guru, Kurbo, eMindful, Health coaching, Health Promotions Consultants, Weight Watchers, and biometric screenings will no longer be sold as standalone.


WVB Bonus

LFP Bonus

Bundling Bonus

100+ Bonus


Click here to request access to Broker Centric for 24/7, immediate access to customizable marketing materials, promotional items, and carrier product resources.