Benefits Buzz

Posted February 11th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Yesterday, IRS officials made a significant announcement that impacts the Employer Shared Responsibility requirements, also known as the Employer Mandate. New guidance issued by the IRS confirms that a new phased approach will be utilized to implement it.

The new approach has 3 significant changes to the previously written rules:

Posted February 7th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
  • The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has reported Exchange application submissions have exceeded 3 million.
  • The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has updated 2014 Exchange enrollment estimates to 6 million.
  • Some reports are showing that 22,000 Exchange applicants were enrolled in the wrong plan or received a lower subsidy than expected,  15,000 Exchange applications were lost and only 11% of Exchange applicants were previously uninsured.
Posted January 31st, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

As one of the essential health benefits covered in the Health Insurance Marketplace, pediatric dental care has been top of mind. This February will be the first time that National Children’s Dental Health Month will take place while the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is in full swing.

Posted January 29th, 2014 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published the 2014 Federal Poverty Levels (FPL) last week. The 2014 FPL guidelines have been raised 1.5% in comparison to the 2013 FPL. The FPL is a measure of income used to determine eligibility for various government programs including healthcare, housing and food stamps. The FPL is also used as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to determine eligibility for subsidies available through the Health Insurance Marketplace, also known as the Exchange.

Posted January 24th, 2014 in Employers, Individuals

Winter in Chicago. As the joke goes the only other season should be construction. Now that the worst of the polar vortex has passed (or we’ve grown accustomed to it) people are more expressive and passionate about two things this week: food and health care reform.

Posted January 22nd, 2014 in Producers, Employers

An employer can be fined up to $100 per day for every employee that had a waiting period in excess of 90 calendar days.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) imposes a new rule that group health plans cannot have a waiting period of more than 90 calendar days.

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