Benefits Buzz

Posted December 27th, 2013 in Producers, Employers

The Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) is a part of the healthcare reform law that is supposed to help small businesses provide affordable health insurance coverage to employees. Last month it was announced that the SHOP Exchange would be delayed until November 2014; however, this statement requires clarification as some of the core features of the SHOP are still available. 

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

Healthcare Reform, Obamacare, Affordable Care Act, thingamajig, whatchamacallit, no matter your choice of nickname—it’s unavoidable this holiday season. Much like those ugly sweater holiday parties that force you to raid a family member’s closet or a local thrift store, your treasure hunt is now for the best, most affordable health insurance for yourself, family members, employees and/or clients.

A recent article gave insider tips on how to shop at a thrift store. A lot of these same practices apply directly to the insurance shopping experience under the new health law.

Note: All of the tips that the source article gave for shopping at a thrift store are listed within parentheses.

Posted December 13th, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex) has been administering Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) since the beginning. These ten years have gone by fast, and every year more and more people are starting to take notice of them. They have been celebrated as popular, consumer-driven and a great tool for retirement planning.

Moreover, HSA participants themselves have received the reputation of being cost-savvy and more involved overall in their health care spend. While HSAs are not for everyone, these plans offer consumers a triple tax advantage – which is not very common in the tax code.

Posted December 4th, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

Here are three major Affordable Care Act (ACA) deadline changes that have made headlines recently.

1.    Individuals looking for a January 1, 2014 effective date will now have until December 23, 2013 to submit an application and until December 31, 2013* to make their initial premium payment in the public exchange. Additionally, each carrier must decide how they will handle the implementation of this change outside of the public exchange.

Posted November 26th, 2013 in Employers, Individuals

During the holidays, when you are face-to-face with family members, even a “simple” healthcare reform question may land you in the middle of an escalated political debate. You may even be the go-to person for these questions if you are known to be up-to-date with the latest news.

Posted November 25th, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) made a significant announcement on November 19, 2013 that will give insurance companies the ability to verify subsidy eligibility and directly enroll individuals in a subsidized plan without having to direct them to the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) as part of the process. This announcement appears to be a way to address some of the technical problems and glitches that HealthCare.gov has been plagued with since its launch on October 1, 2013. 

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