Golden & Cohen

About Golden & Cohen —Founded in 1992, Golden & Cohen is a health insurance benefit services company that serves more than 1500 clients. Based in Gaithersburg, MD, the firm generated $70 million in annual sales last year and has 15 employees.

How Inkandescent PR Helped — In 2008, CEO Stephanie Cohen decided she’d had enough of the ballooning cost of health care and decided to host the DC Health Summit on Oct. 29, 2008.

Success Story — The event brought together more than 100 of the top minds in the health insurance and health care industry, including keynote speaker Steven Aldana, owner of Wellsteps Inc., and panelists Kaiser Permanente’s Director of Population Care Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, Neurosurgeon Dr. James Melisi, the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s VP Dr. Paul Rao, Maryland’s former Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, and UnitedHealthcare COO Dr. Sanford Cohen — and Virginia Senator George Barker, who prior to taking office last November worked for 30 years for the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia where he helped contain skyrocketing health care costs, promote quality of care, and ensure access to medical care for all Northern Virginians. The moderator was futurist Andy Hines of the research and consulting firm Social Technologies.

E-NEWSLETTER: October News from Golden & Cohen — HIGH HEALTH INSURANCE RATES HIT HOME

October 2009 — Here’s a reality check from Scott, Stephanie and Jack, Golden & Cohen. The impact of rising health insurance rates isn’t lost on us. Like most every company in the U.S., this year we experienced a significant increase in the rates for our own staff.

We knew we had three real choices: reduce benefits, increase cost to employees or have the company absorb the increase and keep the employees whole. We selected the last option because we are in the best position to “eat” the cost.

The reason is simple. We want to keep morale high and ensure our employees are focusing on their jobs — not worrying about their health insurance. Like most small firms, employee retention and the well being of our employees is one of our top priorities.

If you are in a similar boat, but made a different choice, we’d love to talk to you because we are hoping to understand what employers are thinking in these tough economic times.

In fact, we are always asking the people we meet about why — and why not — they have health insurance. Read on to find information on the “Top 8 Reasons Individuals Don’t Buy Health Insurance,” and our thoughts on why single people might be making a bad choice. You’ll also learn about an incredibly affordable Rx program we’ll be offering in the next few months, Rx ‘n Go. And, you’ll find “7 Strategies to help working parents stay connected to their kids,” by our new psychology partners, Jessica Kramer, a counselor and therapist Bethesda Counseling Associates.

Until next month, here’s to your good health!

Stephanie Cohen, CEO, stephanie@golden-cohen.com
Scott Golden, CFO, scott@golden-cohen.com
Jack Cohen, COO, jack@golden-cohen.com

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E-NEWSLETTER: September News from Golden & Cohen: Our Take On The Baucus $856 Billion Health Care Package

By Scott Golden, CFO and co-founder, Golden & Cohen
Photo: Max Baucus, maxbaucus.info

It would have been tough not to see the headlines this month in the Washington Post and New York Times announcing the big news from Senator Max Baucus, the Democrat from Montana who chairs the Finance Committee.

His slimmed-down price tag of $856 billion over 10 years for health-care reform is a cut from the $1 trillion once proposed. Baucus’ plan also has middle-class American families paying 13 percent of their family income in health-insurance premiums before co-payments, deductibles and other cost sharing. Here’s a look into what we think and why.

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IN THE NEWS: Will insurance brokers survive health reform?

Disruptive Women in Health Care, Sept. 2, 2008 — On today’s popular health care blog, Disruptive Women in Health Care www.disruptivewomen.net, insurance broker Stephanie Cohen wrote a provocative article about the future of the brokerage business.

“As an insurance broker in the metro Washington DC area, I have been in the trenches of selling, and advocating for our customers for their small group health insurance, disability programs and life insurance plans for over 17 years,” she said. “Needless to say, it has been maddening in the last five years to watch rates rise and our customers get increasingly frustrated with the system. I spend my days arguing with insurance companies about what they will cover and what they won’t — and I’m consistently amazed that these large firms often don’t have a handle on the benefits they provide in their policies. To say the right hand doesn’t know what the left is doing is a dramatic understatement.”

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E-NEWSLETTER: August News from Golden & Cohen

August 2009 — The future of health reform is making headlines, seemingly daily, so of course it was one of the main topics for our August e-blast. From our perspective as insurance brokers, the health insurance industry was never broken, just sprained. We definitely think the system needs a tune-up, with much less waste and fraud, but there are many ways that this can play out — and everyone involved needs to be responsible for a more positive outcome. Unfortunately, we don’t believe the proposed public plan will work, for a few basic reasons. Read on to learn more.

We also are proud to announce some new partnerships — with ADP and Goodman & Company. And we’re excited to invite all of our clients and friends to an Oct. 22 event featuring author/journalist KATI MARTON and health care publisher ROBIN STRONGIN, who will talk about the future of health care, the Holocaust, and Kati’s life in spotlight. Lastly, don’t miss our tips on protecting yourself from Swine Flu.

We’ll talk to you next month! — Stephanie, Scott & Jack

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IN THE NEWS: OurBlook.com interviews Scott Golden on Healthcare Reform

OURBLOOK.com, August 6, 2009 — A website that offers innovative solutions to todays problems, OurBlook, today posted an interview with Scott Golden, chief financial officer of Golden & Cohen, a health benefits consulting company in the Washington, D.C. area. Read on to learn more.

Question: President Obama has made it clear he isn’t working to set up a precursor to a single-payer health care system. Meanwhile, the insurance industry says that any version of a public plan will kill private industry. Is there any precedent for a public/private partnership in health insurance?

Scott Golden: The way the proposal is being described, there are no partnerships, so the public plan would compete against private plans. There is nothing on point with this scenario to date, which is why there is great speculation as to what might happen.

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E-NEWSLETTER: July News from Golden & Cohen — Health Insurance Firm Makes Washington Business Journal’s Prestigious Book of Lists

Hello, and thank you for taking the time to review our July newsletter. We are very excited to announce that this year, once again we have made the list of the Top 10 largest health insurance firms in Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists.

We are incredibly proud of our accomplishments, as we have built our business brick by brick. We want to thank all our loyal clients, many of whom have been with us since our inception. We will continue to work hard everyday to make sure each and every client is receiving world-class service and the best possible insurance strategy for their needs and budget. In fact, making Washington Business Journal’s prestigious list just spurs us on to rank even higher — because making this list, or any list, merely reflects the real driver of our growth and success: whether our clients are satisfied and are referring us to their clients and friends.

So a warm welcome to all of our clients, — and potential new clients — with this, our monthly e-news blast. Our goal is to help you get the most out of your health insurance — and to that end, below you’ll find need-to-know information about timely changes in term life insurance, a new health-insurance subsidy for small businesses in Maryland, and the work we are doing with the Greater Washington Association of Health Underwriters. You’ll also find quick summaries of two recent healthcare articles we think you should know about, along with our reactions to them. And finally, we leave you with some parting thoughts on what we consider to be the meaning of success.

If you enjoy reading our monthly newsletter, we’d be thrilled if you would tell a friend. Simply click the button at the top of this page, or send us the emails of anyone you’d like us to reach out to and we’ll extend a personal invitation.

Here’s to your health!

Stephanie Cohen, stephanie@golden-cohen.com
Scott Golden, scott@golden-cohen.com
Jack Cohen, jack@golden-cohen.com

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden featured in Baltimore Business Journal

BALTIMORE BUSINESS JOURNAL, July 24, 2009 — In an article entitled, Complexity, cost concern local insurers, featured in this week’s Baltimore Business Journal, reporter Elizabeth Heubeck writes:

If Scott Golden were a gambling man, he wouldn’t bet on the U.S. government creating a federally-run universal health care system. “I think Obama is using that as a threat so that the insurance carriers will step up and put in their own price controls,” said Golden, co-founder of the Gaithersburg-based health benefits consulting firm Golden & Cohen. Given this scenario, Golden envisions insurance carriers saving money by “spending less, giving less to brokers, or requiring that subscribers pay more.” Ultimately, Golden believes, brokers like him will make less money.

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IN THE NEWS: Scott Golden featured in Physicians' Money Digest

PHYSICIAN’S MONEY DIGEST, July 14, 2009 — From real estate to the job market, the current recession has impacted just about everyone and every segment of the economy,” writes reporter Ed Rabinowitz in a July 14 article published in Physician’s Money Digest. “However, according to an article in the New York Times, concierge medical practices, while certainly not recession proof, do not appear to have been impacted as severely as might have been expected. Consumers/patients are still forking over $1,500 per year and up for what is promised to be personalized care and around-the-clock access.”

He says: According to Scott Golden, chief financial officer of the health benefits firm Golden & Cohen, for physicians with a loyal following, the opportunity exists through the concierge model to make equal or more money than before, see fewer patients, and practice medicine the way they want. And he expects that trend to continue. “One of the goals of the Obama Administration is to get the uninsured in the system,” Golden says. “That means more people and probably the same amount of doctors, so you’re going to see the same [access] problem getting worse. But only the practices that can deliver on their promises will be able to survive.”

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E-NEWSLETTER: Welcome to the inaugural issue of Golden & Cohen's monthly newsletter

Hello and welcome to the inaugural issue of Golden & Cohen’s monthly e-newsletter. We’re also proud to announce that we have a new website, www.golden-cohen.com. It’s chock full of information that you and your employees need to stay fully informed about your benefits.

You’ll also find contact information and details about our team, our press mentions, articles, and excerpts from the book we’re writing, “You gotta laugh: Life and the death-defying reality of the health insurance debacle.”

The newsletters will also be filled with short but interesting details we think you need to know each month.
We look forward to staying in contact with you, and always know you can reach us 24-7 to help you with your health insurance needs. Talk to you soon!

Stephanie Cohen, stephanie@golden-cohen.com
Scott Golden, scott@golden-cohen.com
Jack Cohen, jack@golden-cohen.com

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PRESS RELEASE: Golden & Cohen Makes Washington Business Journal’s Prestigious Book of Lists

GAITHERSBURG MD, June 2009 — The owners of the health benefits firm Golden & Cohen are pleased to announce that this year, once again, they have made the list of the Top 10 largest health insurance firms in Washington Business Journal’s Book of Lists”:http://www.bizjournals.com/.

“We are incredibly proud of our accomplishments, as we have built our business brick by brick,” says Stephanie Cohen, CEO of Golden & Cohen. “We want to thank all our loyal clients, many of whom have been with us since our inception. We will continue to work hard everyday to make sure each and every client is receiving world-class service and the best possible insurance strategy for their needs and budget.”

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WEBSITE — Golden & Cohen

Click image for larger view

Illustration and design by Michael Gibbs
Website coding / database by Max Kukoy
Writing / Concept by Hope Katz Gibbs

About Golden & Cohen

Top-rated specialists on group and individual insurance benefits and retirement planning, Golden & Cohen launched a new website on May 1, 2009 to provide their current and potential clients with more detailed information on the best insurance options: http://golden-cohen.com.

“The new website outlines all of the products we offer—from group and individual dental, disability, and life insurance, to group vision insurance and individual pension plans,” explains Stephanie Cohen, co-founder and the company’s chief operating officer. “Beyond that, we offer benefits management services such as benchmarking, cafeteria plans, COBRA, and wellness programs. We also provide our clients with access to human resources management, including employee benefits plans and performance reviews.”

Providing first-class customer service is the priority at Golden & Cohen, she says.
“We pride ourselves on providing the best customer service possible, and are here to assist 24 hours a day with any insurance issues that may arise,” Cohen affirms. She points to the firm’s offerings of claims assistance as well as its insights into the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and legal and compliance information. “From billing to claims resolutions and appeals, our experienced team understands how the system and processes work, and goes the extra mile for all of our clients.”

 

IN THE NEWS: Who’s Hiring in the Health Industry? Scott Golden tells Health News Digest

HEALTH NEWS DIGEST, April 2009 — “The economic downturn is taking its toll on employees in all industries — but health insurance companies will increasingly be a good place to look for work,” writes Scott Golden, chief financial officer of the Maryland-based health benefits brokerage firm Golden & Cohen, in this week’s issue of HealthNewsDigest.com.

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Videography: HIGHTLIGHTS OF DC HEALTH SUMMIT NOW ON YouTube

Produced by Inkandescent PR for our client Golden & Cohen, this YouTube video was created by our videographer Zach Starr. Click HERE to watch!

Gaithersburg MD, November 2008 — The much-anticipated DC Health Summit drew more than 100 business leaders interested in the future of health insurance reform to a packed the ballroom at the Mandarin Hotel. They were eager to hear what health insurance company executives, physicians, hospital administrators, and politicians had to say about how workplace wellness programs can lower insurance rates.

“This was a groundbreaking event,” moderator Andy Hines told the crowd. “For the first time, decision makers and players from every industry that impact the cost of health insurance gathered in one room. Fortunately, no chairs were thrown, and we had a very interesting discussion.”

That was the goal for Stephanie Cohen, CEO of the health benefits firm Golden & Cohen, who hosted the event.

“I have been in the trenches of the health care insurance industry for more than a decade, and what I see happening to my clients when they try to collect on their benefits not only disturbs me as a business owner — it infuriates me as a U.S. citizen and a mother,” Cohen says. “That is why my partners and I at Golden & Cohen decided to host the DC Health Summit. Our goal is to bring the decision makers together—politicians, health insurance company executives, physicians, academics and hospital administrators—so we can start to come up with workable solutions.”

To hear some of their remarks, view a video of the event on YouTube.

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Event: Sponsors DC Health Summit

This first annual DC Health Summit is being sponsored by United Healthcare, Kaiser Permanente, Coventry, and LifeWork Strategies.

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Event Press Release: Obama Spokeswoman Dr. Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin to Speak at DC Health Summit

Gaithersburg MD, October 23, 2008 — Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin Ph.D. will speak at the 2008 DC Health Summit, a meeting that is bringing together 100 of the top minds in the health care industry on Oct. 29 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC www.dchealthsummit.com.

Dr. Buntin is a health economist and researcher who focuses on health insurance benefit design, health insurance markets, provider payment, and the care use and needs of the elderly. Her current projects include a study of the effects of consumer-directed health care on health care access, costs, and quality and a study of the effects of Medicare payment changes on post-acute care costs and outcomes.

She has also worked on projects and published in the areas of disease management, the market for individual health insurance policies, Medicare physician payment rates, the financing of end-of-life care, and Medicare managed care plan design and payment.

Dr. Buntin graduated from the Ph.D. Program in Health Policy at Harvard University where she concentrated in health economics and specialized in the economics of the Medicare program, and is currently a volunteer surrogate speaker for the Obama campaign, and says she’s excited to participate in the Oct. 29 DC Health Summit.

Although a representative from the McCain campaign was also invited to attend the DC Health Summit, Amber Johnson, director of scheduling for the campaign, declined due to an overwhelming number of events surrogates need to attend at this time.

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Event Press Release: Futurist Andy Hines to Moderate High-Profile Panel at DC Health Summit

Gaithersburg MD, October 15, 2008 — Futurist Andy Hines will be the moderator at the 2008 DC Health Summit, a meeting that is bringing together 100 of the top minds in the health care industry on Oct. 29 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC (www.dchealthsummit.com).

Hines will ask and field questions of an all-star health care panel including Kaiser Permanente’s Director of Population Care Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, Neurosurgeon Dr. James Melisi, the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s VP Dr. Paul Rao, Maryland’s former Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, and UnitedHealthcare COO Kevin Ruth — and Virginia Senator George Barker, who prior to taking office last November worked for 30 years for the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia where he helped contain skyrocketing health care costs, promote quality of care, and ensure access to medical care for all Northern Virginians.

The Future of Health Insurance

Based on his decades of experience as a futurist, Hines has developed strategic insights of his own. As the director of custom projects at the global futurist research and consulting firm Social Technologies, he and his colleagues have worked on several projects that explore the future of health care in America.

Hines says some big issues ahead include:

• Societal views on personal responsibility — As Americans, will we lean toward accommodation or a more punitive approach such as saying obesity is either a disease beyond one’s control or “it’s their fault?”

• The implications of a deeper move to holistic wellness — To what extent will innovations like support groups be covered by health insurance?

• The buck stops where? — Ultimately, who will be responsible for a person’s health and wellbeing? The individual, employers, or the government?

• From the institution to the individual — How fast and extensive will the shift to consumer-centric health care take place?

• Incremental vs. transformational approaches — Will changes in our approach to health care happen in slow, incremental steps? Or will an event occur that causes changes to occur rapidly?

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Event Press Release: Dr. Steven Aldana to be Keynote Speaker at DC Health Summit

Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs, Inkandescent Public Relations
email / Phone: 703-346-6975

Golden & Cohen
704 Quince Orchard Road, Suite 250
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Workplace wellness expert will address 100 top health care industry leaders about the positive impact of wellness programs on waistlines and the organization’s bottom line

Gaithersburg MD, October 6, 2008 — Dr. Steven Aldana will be the keynote speaker at the first annual DC Health Summit, a meeting that is bringing together 100 of the top minds in the health care industry on Oct. 29 from 11 am to 1 pm at the Mandarin Hotel in Washington, DC.

A former professor of lifestyle medicine in the College of Health and Human Performance at Brigham Young University, Aldana is a nationally recognized scientist and teacher on the topic of health promotion in the workplace. His keynote, “The Truth About Return on Investment and Worksite Health Promotion Programs,” will serve as an introduction to a broader discussion among Summit panelists and attendees about the future of health insurance in the United States.

“Companies are always looking for ways to reduce employee-related expenses and many corporations and organizations are using health promotion programs as a reactionary effort to curtail ever-increasing, employee-related expenses of health care and lost productivity,” Aldana explains. “Dozens of published scientific research articles have evaluated the cost-benefit of worksite health promotion programs and the majority show a clear and positive ROI. Yet, many companies are hesitant to spend any money on employee health promotion efforts, raising the question as to why most health and wellness programs still struggle to get funding and support.”

Aldana insists that health promotion in the workplace won’t just have a positive effect on your employees’ waistlines — it will have a positive impact on your organization’s bottom line.

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Event Press Release: Stephanie Cohen Announces Date of DC Health Summit, Oct. 29

Contact: Hope Katz Gibbs, Inkandescent Public Relations
email / Phone: 703-346-6975

Golden & Cohen
704 Quince Orchard Road, Suite 250
Gaithersburg, MD 20878

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Politicians, health insurance company executives, physicians, academics and hospital administrators come together to discuss the future of health care and importance of workplace wellness

Gaithersburg MD, September 15, 2008—On October 29, 2008 the health care benefits company Golden & Cohen is hosting the first annual DC Health Summit, a meeting of some of the top minds in the health care industry who will discuss and debate the future of health care in the United States.

“Research by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that in 2006, more than $2.1 trillion was spent on health care in the United States,” says Stephanie Cohen, (pictured right) CEO of Golden & Cohen. “That represents 16% of the Gross Domestic Product. By 2017 the amount of money spent on health care is expected to increase to nearly $4.3 trillion, and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projects that by then health care will account for about 20 percent of GDP.”

These increasing costs mean policymakers, insurers, and the public are going to face some difficult decisions about the way health care is delivered and paid for, she adds.

“I have been in the trenches of the health care insurance industry for more than a decade, and what I see happening to my clients when they try to collect on their benefits not only disturbs me as a business owner — it infuriates me as a U.S. citizen and a mother,” Cohen explains. “That is why my partners and I at Golden & Cohen decided to host the DC Health Summit. Our goal is to bring the decision makers together—politicians, health insurance company executives, physicians, academics and hospital administrators—so we can start to come up with workable solutions.”

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WEBSITE — DC Health Summit

Click image for larger view

Illustration and design by Michael Gibbs
Website coding / database by Max Kukoy
Writing / Concept by Hope Katz Gibbs

About the DC Health Summit

On October 29, 2008, more than 100 guests were part of an exciting discussion about the role that health promotion and worksite wellness programs play within the workplace — and the potential that such programs have on the direct and indirect costs associated with health and productivity.

“For the first time, leaders from the health insurance industry, hospital administrators, physicians, politicians and corporate leaders gathered to discuss the future of health care in the U.S.,” says Stephanie Cohen, owner of the health benefits company Golden & Cohen, who is hosting the 2008 DC Health Summit.

“My goal was to open a discussion about how increasing workplace wellness can impact health care costs,” she explains. “Although this is only one aspect of the debate on the future of health care, it is a start to what I hope will be a continuing dialog between policymakers, doctors, insurance companies, doctors and the business community. I hope every business leader and health care professional we invite has the opportunity to attend this important event.”

The keynote speaker was workplace wellness expert Dr. Steven Aldana, who talked about how corporate wellness programs can positively impact a company’s bottom line.

Following him was Barack Obama spokeswoman Melinda Beeuwkes Buntin Ph.D., who shared key points of the Obama / Biden health care plan with the audience.

The attention turned to an all-star health care panel including Virginia Senator George Barker, Kaiser Permanente’s Director of Population Care Dr. Amy Compton-Phillips, Neurosurgeon Dr. James Melisi, the National Rehabilitation Hospital’s VP Dr. Paul Rao, Maryland’s former Insurance Commissioner Al Redmer, and UnitedHealthcare COO Dr. Sanford Cohen.

The event was moderated by futurist Andy Hines, director of customer projects at the futurist research and consulting firm Social Technologies.