Benefits Buzz – September 2018
This month’s Benefits Buzz explains the 2018 Affordable Care Act reporting draft forms, briefly discusses two health savings account bills that passed the House of Representatives and highlights how disease management programs can help mitigate health care costs.
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Breaking News LIVE from D.C. 2/27/18
Breaking News LIVE from D.C.!
Greg Liposky with Representative Kevin Brady (TX), Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, after a successful private lunch discussion on proposed Health Care Legislative changes.
Tuesday, February 27th, 2018 – Washington D.C.
Last week marked my 10th annual visit to participate in the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Capitol Conference in Washington D.C. This is a VERY important symposium collaborating and working with our Congressional Delegates to help develop exceptional health care solutions. NAHU members had another productive year in making significant progress during this very ambitious four day schedule!
Below are the top five focal points we presented in our Congressional meetings that addressed viable solutions to help solve our national health care crisis.
- Preserving the employer tax exclusion (deductibility) for health care benefits provided to employees.
- Eliminate the excessive employer reporting requirements under the ACA laws especially now that the individual mandate has been repealed in the new tax reform bill.
- Increase flexibility for HSA plans to allow for several diagnostic Dr. visits (without having to meet plan deductible first) and allow funding to HSA accounts to equal the total out of pocket exposure for all HSA plan designs.
- Create high risk reinsurance pools managed by each state to take care of the high/catastrophic cost claimants (.5% of population) and significantly reduce premium costs for a majority of the insured population.
- Permanently repealing the Health Insurance Tax and Cadillac Excise Tax.
Additional agenda items included significant Medicare improvements/modifications and market stabilization recommendations to reduce costs and improve individual and employer market risk pools.
To review both our current and past legislative successes that will ultimately help deliver high quality of care, and cost reduction solutions to all Americans, click here.
THE BLUES ANNOUNCE MIGRATION PROCESS FOR EXISTING MYBLUE CUSTOMERS IN CLOSING PLANS
Blue Cross® Blue Shield® of Michigan and Blue Care Network (BCBSM and BCN) announced on Friday, November 22, 2013, that even though the state insurance commissioner announced (also on November 22) that Michigan would permit carriers to allow customers to maintain their current benefits for one additional year (as a result of President Obama’s announcement the week prior), the Blues will continue to move forward, transitioning their existing business and enrolling all new business into ACA-compliant plans, effective 1/1/2014.
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New HHS Memo on Federally Facilitated Exchanges
HHS/CMS recently issued a memo focusing on the role of agents and brokers in federally facilitated Exchanges now being established by the federal government in states that opt not to have their own state-based Exchanges. The memo, referring to both Exchanges and Marketplace, also addresses certain questions related to state-based Exchanges. Previous final regulations addressed the ability of states to permit brokers and agents to assist employers and individuals purchasing Exchange coverage, including clarification that although they may help individuals with QHP enrollment, they cannot perform eligibility determinations.
Read the memo on the CMS website here: http://cciio.cms.gov/resources/regulations/Files/agent-broker-5-1-2013.pdf
HHS Delays SHOP Exchange until 2015
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS/CMS) recently announced that it will delay the offer of a choice of plans with health insurance marketplaces specifically for small businesses. The transition policy, outlined in the latest HHS guidance, would delay implementation of the employee choice model as a requirement for all SHOPs until 2015.
HHS is proposing that employers only be allowed to enroll in one QHP (Qualified Health Plan) in 2014. Additionally, state SHOPs would not have to offer employee choice next year. This policy is intended to provide health plan issuers with additional time to prepare for an employee choice model and to stabilize the small group market in 2014.
For more information on how this could affect your business, contact us