Benefits Buzz

Posted March 22nd, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have jointly issued rules that define affordable coverage. Employers and employees still have several questions about how this affects penalty calculations and subsidy eligibility.

The following offers some insight on these key issues:

Posted March 18th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has published a draft version of the individual application that will be used for public exchange enrollments starting on October 1, 2013. The application may be as long as 21 pages for some families.

Estimates indicate the online application process will take a minimum of 45 minutes to complete, and it could be even longer for individuals applying for coverage with dependents. Social Security Numbers, citizenship and residency status and employment and income verification are among the items that will need to be disclosed. A recent AP news article indicated the application process "could be as daunting as doing your taxes."

Posted March 14th, 2013 in Employers, Producers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulations on March 1, 2013 about the Transitional Reinsurance Program. This new program will require insurance companies and some employers to fund a program that will provide partial reimbursements to commercial insurers that provide coverage to high risk individuals.

Posted March 11th, 2013 in Employers, Producers

ACA Participation RequirementsThe U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released final regulations on February 22, 2013 in regards to various health insurance market rules. The new guidance includes information about minimum participation requirements in the small employer marketplace. In most states, small employers are defined as those with 50 or fewer employees.

Insurance companies today require a minimum percentage of employees to enroll in coverage. This is referred to as the participation requirements and helps insurance companies avoid adverse selection. Minimum participation requirements can be up to 75% today.

Posted March 7th, 2013 in Employers, Producers

Small employers able to provide simple, effective program with defined contribution strategy and online insurance marketplace.

InsureXSolutions® recently announced more small businesses in the Chicagoland area are looking to adopt a private health insurance exchange as an alternative to increasing healthcare costs. Through a defined contribution benefits strategy and the use of a private insurance exchange, businesses can now take control of their healthcare spending and offer a personalized insurance buying experience for employees.

Approximately 75 percent of Illinois employers have fewer than 50 employees, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. Of those employers, only a third currently offer group health coverage due to expensive premiums, participation requirements or other challenges that exist in today’s marketplace.

Posted March 5th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) posted final regulations about the deductible and out-of-pocket limitations to the Federal Registrar on February 25, 2013. Section 1302(c) of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) specifies that the maximum deductible for a qualified insurance plan cannot exceed $2,000 for single coverage and $4,000 for family coverage.

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