Health Insurance Firm Is Expanding Fontana Office
Business is booming for Henry Romero, president of HR Benefits Consulting, Inc., an inland company that provides health care insurance plans to small and large companies, individuals and seniors on Medicare. As health insurance laws become more complex, industry experts are needed to explain what are the best kind of healthcare plans for members of the public, Romero said.
Romero, who formerly worked as an executive for Kaiser Permanente, decided to strike out on his own about six years ago, and now the company has locations in Riverside, Fontana, Corona and San Bernardino. The company, which has eight full-time employees and 60 field agents who work as contractors, is also expanding its Fontana office.
"I love what I do because I help employ a lot of local residents, and help thousands of people with their health care, especially seniors on Medicare " said Romero.
As a health insurance provider, HR Benefits Consulting has been affected by health care reform that was passed a few years ago. Romero says there were changes to the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) laws, which allowed employees to buy into their company's health plan, even after they have ceased to work there.
Other changes to the laws allow children up to the age of 26 to be covered on a parent's health plan, and the new child preexisting condition clause prevents insurance companies from not covering patients because they have a pre-existing condition. These new changes mean that people have to examine their health plans even more closely to ensure that family members are covered by the new regulations.
One of the concerns Romero has about the health care industry is affordability. "There doesn't seem to be any regulation to control costs," Romero said. He worries that prices might get to the point where health care becomes unaffordable to the average American. Romero is also concerned about the government writing health care reform legislation to repair the health care system, because they often have few industry experts offering them advice. Romero said that government reform usually results in additional increases to health care premiums and added he would be willing to sit on a Health Care Reform committee.
He says that having health care coverage is essential, even if it is costly. He said it is more expensive to not be covered. "We protect our cars and homes with insurance, but not ourselves," Romero said. "You at least need to have a high-deductible catastrophic injury plan to help protect yourself against sudden catastrophic illness or injury."
Many of the health problems Romero sees are related to a sedentary lifestyle and being overweight. This can lead to costly ailments such as high blood pressure, diabetes and cardio vascular disease.
Romero has noticed that health insurance companies have moved toward encouraging consumers to live healthier. According to Romero, this is a win for both the health insurance companies and the consumers. Healthier consumers have fewer problems and fewer doctor visits. They also use fewer medications to control their health problems.
Romero said companies such as Kaiser Permanente and Cigna Health Insurance currently have wellness programs where they have health care professionals provide education programs to improve patient health. He partnered with Kaiser to implement an onsite wellness program for the City of Banning employees, online health risk assessments and also offers nutritional programs.
Romero also collaborates with local health care providers, such as the Riverside Physicians Network and the San Bernardino Medical Group, to coordinate wellness programs at senior centers, where doctors provide educational classes for the residents.
For more information about HR Benefits Consulting call 866-383-4722 or go to www.HRBCinsurance.com.