Health Care Reform (ACA)

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The “Skinny” as a strategy…


As the implications of health care reform become more apparent, large employers are increasingly grappling with coverage options to avoid the penalties. Over the past few months, there has been considerably more attention paid to the problems faced by the staffing industry and similar employers as these temporary and variable hour employees are generally common law employees of the organization, and ultimately such companies are on the hook as it relates to offering health coverage. One option some employers are looking at is the offer of a “no minimum value plan” – this is a group health plan that provides medical care,
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The “Skinny” as a strategy…2014-02-20T20:58:23+00:00

Obama Administration Announces More Delays for Employer Mandate to 2016


The Obama administration announced today that it will extend the deadline for the implementation of the health care mandate for medium sized businesses to 2016. Employers with 50 - 99 workers are given a two year reprieve on offering health care to their full-time employees. Requirements for companies with 100 or more workers are reduced by 25%. Larger employer (over 100 employees) are also seeing their requirement to offer health care to their full-time employees reduced from 95% to 70%. The administration claims that stratifying the two phase-ins for businesses across America will ease the financial and administrative burdens for employers
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Obama Administration Announces More Delays for Employer Mandate to 20162014-02-11T20:59:34+00:00

Obamacare rules on equal coverage delayed: NY Times


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Obama administration is delaying enforcement of a provision of the new healthcare law that prohibits employers from providing better health benefits to top executives than to other employees, the New York Times reported on Saturday. Tax officials said they would not enforce the provision this year because they had yet to issue regulations for employers to follow, according to the Times. Internal Revenue Service spokesman Bruce Friedland said employers would not have to comply until the agency issued regulations or other guidance, the newspaper reported. The IRS was not immediately available to confirm the Times story. The
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Obamacare rules on equal coverage delayed: NY Times2014-01-20T19:42:28+00:00

Major Carriers Revise Payment Deadlines


A backlog of Obamacare customers attempting to make their first premium payment on new health exchange plans has prompted several major insurers to revise their original deadline of Jan. 10. Blue Cross Blue Shield operations in Texas and Illinois, along with three more BCBS plans that are part of the Health Care Service Corp, are now accepting premium payments through Jan. 30. So are all plans sold through, the insurer said, with retroactive coverage to Jan. 1 being issued to consumers in 26 states. Meanwhile WellPoint—the nation’s second-biggest insurer—is allowing consumers until Jan. 15 to make payments. Kristin Binns, a
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Major Carriers Revise Payment Deadlines2014-01-09T18:51:17+00:00

Companies Prepare to Pass More Health Costs to Workers


  by Theo Francis Companies are bracing for an influx of participants in their insurance plans due to the health-care overhaul, adding to pressure to shift more of the cost of coverage to employees. Many employers are betting that the Affordable Care Act's requirement that all Americans have health insurance starting in 2014 will bring more people into their plans who have previously opted out. That, along with other rising expenses, is prompting companies to raise workers' premium contributions, steer them toward high-deductible plans and charge them more to cover family members. The changes as companies roll out their health plans
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Companies Prepare to Pass More Health Costs to Workers2013-11-25T17:07:25+00:00

Covered California Upholds Original Deadline – Press Release


Dear Colleagues and Interested Parties:   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Media Line: (916) 205-8403 Nov. 21, 2013   COVERED CALIFORNIA UPHOLDS ORIGINAL DEADLINE FOR ENDING HEALTH PLANS THAT DON’T MEET LAW’S STANDARDS Strong Enrollment in New Health Insurance Marketplace a Factor in Decision SACRAMENTO, Calif. — As consumer enrollment continues to grow, the Covered California™ Board unanimously voted today to uphold its Dec. 31, 2013, deadline for health insurance companies to discontinue plans that don’t meet basic standards. The board cited that extending the deadline offers no benefit to the consumer and may create confusion about accessing affordable health care coverage through Covered California.  The
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Covered California Upholds Original Deadline – Press Release2013-11-21T15:48:33+00:00

Innovative ways through the ACA provisions for employers


Employers are continuing looking for solutions that help manage there businesses more efficiently and also navigate the provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  If it make sense, employers should consider looking at alternative funding options - like Self Funding or Level Premium programs. For those of you looking at these options, below are the provisions that do and don't apply. ACA Provisions That Do Apply: Minimum Value Plans Unlimited lifetime maximums Out of pocket & deductible limits Kids to age 26 Summary of Benefits and Coverages (SBC’s) 60-Day Notice of Material Modification 90-Day waiting period (exempt from California’s 60 Day)
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Innovative ways through the ACA provisions for employers2013-10-29T17:59:31+00:00

Three Strategic Steps to Getting Your Business Ready for 2014


  Health Care Reform (ACA) has so many provisions to be aware of that it can be downright overwhelming.  Here are the top three, often overlooked, strategies to help your company get ready for the changes to come.     Determine who is eligible for the marketplace subsidy.  Unless you pay for 100 percent of your employees’ premium, you have the possibility of a backlash from your staff.  Here’s how it works: If their income is 400 percent or less of federal poverty levels, they are eligible for a federal subsidy to offset their premium and sometimes co-pay expenses (this could make the
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Three Strategic Steps to Getting Your Business Ready for 20142013-10-24T20:41:28+00:00

Why do we still have COBRA?


With the advent of the health marketplaces, why do we still have COBRA? The framers of PPACA decided that COBRA should be available even after the health marketplaces become available primarily to avoid possible disruptions in care.  They felt that COBRA beneficiaries, many of whom have significant health conditions, should be allowed to stay with their current health care providers if they chose to.  With reports of narrow networks in some of the marketplaces, this concern has some basis. The marketplaces will not offer ancillary benefits, so some individuals will elect COBRA to have access to continued dental or vision coverage. 
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Why do we still have COBRA?2013-10-23T17:55:38+00:00
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