healthcare reform

Posted September 13th, 2016 in Producers, Employers
Today, September 13, 2016,  marks the three-year anniversary of the release date for IRS Notice 2013-54, which ironically occurred on Friday the 13th. A few years back, benefits industry leaders thought employers could be deterred from adopting Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs) since much of the guidance made changes to the types of HRAs that could be offered. Below is a snapshot of the (now) permissible types of HRAs.
Posted September 6th, 2016 in Producers, Employers, Individuals

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) continues to evolve. Here are 10 changes expected to take effect in 2017. 

Posted August 29th, 2016 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
In 2013 and 2014 the word “exchange” was being used everywhere in the health insurance industry. Now, just a couple of years later, that term isn’t being used as frequently as it was just a couple years prior. Why? For one, the federal government decided the phrase “health insurance marketplace” or “marketplace” was what they would start calling their exchange. The media and general public also seem to associate the word “Obamacare” as being synonymous with the government-run exchanges. Additionally, private exchanges are not experiencing the growth rates that many had projected.
Posted August 22nd, 2016 in Producers, Employers
By now, you’ve probably heard about the Employer Mandate on several different occasions. Without reiterating all of the specific details, applicable large employers (ALEs) must offer health insurance coverage to full-time employees that has minimum value and is considered affordable or risk paying penalties.
 
Posted July 28th, 2016 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
There has been a lot of shake up in the recent weeks and months as it relates to health insurance options available in the individual marketplace. UnitedHealthcare (UHC) announced it would only offer individual plan options in three states next year. Humana also announced they would be limiting the number of states it offers individual plans in next year. More recently, three additional CO-OPs in Connecticut, Illinois and Oregon announced their closures by the end of the year.
 
Posted July 7th, 2016 in Producers, Employers, Individuals
It should be pretty clear by now that two of the biggest provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are the Individual and Employer Mandates. The Individual Mandate requires all Americans to have a health insurance plan or pay a penalty, unless an exemption applies. Factors that may influence the amount of the Individual Mandate penalty include household size and income. The Employer Mandate requires employers with 50 or more employees to offer health insurance coverage to at least 95% of its full-time employees or risk penalties.
Posted July 1st, 2016 in Producers, Employers
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently issued a final rule which effectively implements Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new rule prohibits certain discriminatory acts from occurring for health programs or activities that are administered by HHS, including plans that are sold on federal and state Marketplaces. 
 
Posted June 23rd, 2016 in Producers, Employers

The fourth installment of the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees will be due on July 31, 2016.

As its name suggests, PCORI is a research institute, and it was created by the Affordable Care Act (ACA) as a way to improve clinical effectiveness. It is partially funded by fees charged to health plans.

The following list contains information and some reminders about the upcoming PCORI fee that is due:

Posted June 15th, 2016 in Producers, Employers
In part one and part two of this series, we examined how employees are increasingly responsible for their own healthcare costs and have adjusted their expectations accordingly. We conclude this series with an important announcement:
 
Posted June 1st, 2016 in Producers, Employers
In the first part of this series, we discussed how everyone from insurance companies to employers has been affected by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but no group more so than employees - the true healthcare consumer.
 

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