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Benefits Buzz – November 2018

This month’s Benefits Buzz provides an overview of the ACA hardship exemption for 2018, discusses IRS letters being sent to noncompliant employers and teases the possibility of an overtime rule update starting next year. Click here to Download.

Benefits Buzz – October 2018

This month’s Benefits Buzz discusses the guidance on association health plans issued by the IRS and Department of Labor, provides a reminder that Medicare Part D notices are due Oct. 15 and explains the repeal of the individual mandate penalty. Click here to Download.

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:

CMS Releases Hospital Pricing Data

Yesterday, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services took an unprecedented step in making public extensive hospital cost data. This action shocked healthcare providers, payers, and consumers alike. The massive file contains what is commonly referred to as “sticker price” for the 100 most common Medicare inpatient diagnostic related groups or DRGs. The data does not include physician costs. But it does provide an inside look at how average covered Medicare charges can significantly vary from hospital to hospital within the same city or geographic area. The data is for 3,400 hospitals and represent 92% of all hospital inpatient charges in fiscal year 2011. To read more, visit