Benefits Buzz

Posted August 2nd, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

On Monday, July 22nd, 2013, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation that will expand the Medicaid program for residents of Illinois starting in 2014. Illinois is now the 23rd state that has decided to move forward with the expansion of its Medicaid program.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides federal funds for states opting to expand its Medicaid program. Federal funds will pay for all of the costs to cover newly eligible people from 2014 to 2016. The federal funds will then start to gradually drop from 2017 until 2020 where it will level off at a 90% payment rate from that year and moving forward. 

Posted August 1st, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The public insurance exchanges are expected to introduce a new way for individuals to obtain health insurance coverage next year. However, with the introduction of these exchanges comes a number of complexities and nuances. That includes the topic of premium payment processing and late payments.

Individuals that qualify for Advanced Premium Tax Credits (APTC) through the exchanges will have a portion of their premium subsidized by the federal government, but the balance of the premium will be their responsibility.    

Posted July 31st, 2013 in Producers

The Health Insurance Marketplaces, also known as the Exchanges, are supposed to be operational in two months. October 1, 2013 is the expected date when individual consumers and small businesses can start to enroll in coverage through the Exchanges for the 2014 calendar year. 

Guidance issued on May 1, 2013 confirms that producers will play a significant role in helping individuals and employers enroll in coverage through the Federally-facilitated and State Partnership Exchanges. 

Posted July 30th, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The House of Representatives, controlled by the Republican Party, voted earlier this month to delay the Individual Mandate by one year. It voted 251-174 in favor of delaying the requirement for most individuals to obtain health insurance until January 1, 2015.

This marks the 38th time that the House has tried to repeal or scale back the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Posted July 29th, 2013 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The Exchanges are supposed to have verification systems in place to help determine if an enrollee has access to affordable health insurance coverage from their employer. Since the Employer Mandate reporting requirements are being delayed until 2015, the Exchanges won't have this verification system in place next year.

Instead the Exchanges will have to rely on self-reporting for this information in 2014.

Posted July 25th, 2013 in Employers, Producers

By this time you have probably already heard that the Employer Mandate has been delayed until 2015. In simple terms, no employer will be penalized in 2014 for failing to offer health insurance (or failing to offer affordable health insurance).

Here are 5 key ACA items for employers to know.

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