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Posted May 3rd, 2013 in Employers, Producers

Recent guidance helped clarify some of the confusion about Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fees applicable to Health Reimbursement
Arrangements (HRAs) and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs). It was originally thought that the fee would be applicable to all covered lives including spouses and dependents. That is no longer the case in some instances.

Posted March 26th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

Online insurance marketplace offers more choice and flexibility for small businesses struggling with increasing healthcare costs.

InsureXSolutions® today announced that Assurant®, Inc., Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Texas (BCBSTX) and Humana®, Inc. have joined the list of health insurance companies available through their private insurance exchange. The products from these three insurance carriers include individual health plans and offer a variety of premium and deductible options. Along side Aetna® and Blue Cross® and Blue Shield® of Illinois, the InsureXSolutions private exchange now features leading insurance companies in select markets.

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 February 13th, 2013 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

Important milestones are a special time to reflect on the past, celebrate achievements, create a vision for the future, and express appreciation.

This year, we at Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex) expect to do no less as we proudly mark our 25th anniversary.

Posted December 13th, 2012 in Producers

Just like a certain beloved movie from the ‘80s that used a DeLorean to take us to the future, we now have a vehicle that can be used today, in 2014 and well beyond – defined contribution health benefits.

Health insurance producers and consultants should educate their clients on the defined contribution benefits strategy now because this trend is not going away anytime soon. In fact, nearly 50% of employers “definitely or probably will” switch to defined contribution in 2013.

Posted October 23rd, 2012 in Individuals, Employers

According to an estimate by Kaiser Health News, a couple retiring in 2012 will spend $240,000 on health care expenses. Statistics also indicate that a majority of employees (consumers) save virtually nothing on their own for retirement, other than through employer-sponsored plans (i.e., 401(k) plans).

There is an elephant in the room and people are starting to take notice. Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex), in a nod towards National Save for Retirement Week (a congressionally endorsed, national event that takes place from October 21 – 27, 2012) is featuring the capabilities of a health savings account (HSA) repurposed as a smart way to begin to save for retirement.

Posted October 16th, 2012 in Producers

According to a recent release by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the Affordable Care Act will save the average person with traditional Medicare $5,000 through 2022.

Yesterday, millions of people in the U.S. became eligible to shop, compare and reexamine those Medicare plans. This combination of having the opportunity to save a sizeable amount of money during this limited time has lead to the phenomenon commonly known as the “annual enrollment period” or the “open enrollment period”, which sends millions of employees, friends, and family members into a shopping frenzy (this year lasting from October 15 – December 7, 2012).

Posted October 9th, 2012 in Individuals

Don’t let unspent FSA dollars haunt you

It can be scary to think about how much health care costs you and your family. If you have a flexible spending account (FSA), there’s no need to fear. Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex) has conjured up six not so spooky ways to use your FSA before the end of your plan year.

  1. Prescriptions – Don’t be afraid to ask. Your doctor can write a prescription for everyday over-the-counter items.
Posted October 3rd, 2012 in Individuals, Employers, Producers

Flexible Benefit Service Corporation (Flex) recently joined forces with various associations and insurance companies representing employers, producers and insurers to submit comments on the selection of Illinois’ state Essential Health Benefits (EHB) benchmark plan.

The purpose of the consolidated comments was to underscore the importance of affordability of coverage for individual consumers and small employers in Illinois. The target for this effort was the state’s Health Reform Implementation Council (HRIC) Workgroup, who was considering specific factors in choosing the EHB package. The benchmark plan will eventually determine the cost of future premiums and how broad coverage will be for Illinois consumers.

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