Industry News

Need a Health Plan? You’re Out of Luck Until 2015

Need a Health Plan? You’re Out of Luck Until 2015

As seen on Insurance.com. Article by Beth Orenstein.

Much attention has been paid to the more than 8 million Americans who signed up for health insurance by the first open enrollment deadline, March 31, 2014. No one knows how many Americans are still uninsured.

If you didn’t get around to signing up, here’s the bad news: It’s probably too late to buy an individual health insurance plan for 2014 because the open enrollment period has ended – with specific exceptions.

And the next ...

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UBA – Specialists in Health Benefits, Finance, HR and Management Strategies

UBA – Specialists in Health Benefits, Finance, HR and Management Strategies

In order to succeed in the new health care environment, it is extremely advantageous to leverage the wisdom UBA creates through a collaboration of research, experiences and lessons learned. The process of acquiring and sharing information fosters a learning environment that produces better decisions and value-driven solutions.

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HR Elements – Employee Relations

HR Elements – Employee Relations

The Cruel Catch-22 Of Long-Term Unemployment

It seems like it’s easier for people to find a job if they’re already employed. Consequently, it seems like the longer someone is unemployed, then the more unemployable he or she may appear. To combat this perception the Department of Labor has announced the availability of millions of dollars in grants to assist those who have been stuck in long-term unemployment. The money will go toward training and counseling programs as well as job placement. ...

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Compliance Recap April 2014

Compliance Recap April 2014

The IRS has released the 2015 minimums and maximums that apply to health savings accounts (HSAs) and related high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). These increases occur annually based on a cost-of-living formula. Because the inflation rate is fairly low, the amounts have not increased very much — the out-of-pocket maximum is increasing by $100 for single coverage and by $200 for family coverage. Both the minimum deductible and the maximum contribution are increasing $50 for single coverage and $100 for family ...

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The Employers Guide to “Play or Pay”

The Employers Guide to “Play or Pay”

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) has been referred to as  the most sweeping overhaul of the U.S. health care system in the last half-century. Many major provisions of PPACA will be phased in by January of 2014, while the remaining provisions are expected to be phased in by 2020. One of PPACA’s main goals is to reduce the number of Americans without health coverage. As a result, most Americans will be required to purchase some type of ...

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IRS Releases Final Reporting Regulations

IRS Releases Final Reporting Regulations

In order for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to verify that individuals and employers are meeting their shared responsibility obligations and that individuals who request premium tax credits are entitled to them, employers and issuers will be required to provide reporting on the health coverage they offer. The reporting requirements are in two separate sections of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act  (PPACA) – sections 6055 and 6056. Reporting will first be due early in 2016, based on coverage ...

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Eligibility Waiting Periods

Eligibility Waiting Periods

On February 20, 2014, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Department of Labor (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final regulations on the eligibility waiting period requirements. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) provides that plans may not require an employee who is eligible for coverage to complete a waiting period of more than 90 days before coverage is available. This requirement is effective on the first day of the 2014 plan ...

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People Power – Employee Engagement

People Power – Employee Engagement

For many employers, this scenario is all too familiar: A company starts a wellness program or purchases a stellar benefit in the hopes that they will boost morale, retain top talent and even shrink health insurance costs. Yet the company still ends up with an unhappy and unhealthy workforce that is unproductive and difficult to motivate.

A common reason: Regardless of what rich perk or plan an employer offers, it likely will fizzle if employees either don’t know about it or ...

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The Employer’s Guide to “Pay or Play” 2014 Update

The Employer’s Guide to “Pay or Play” 2014 Update

With every day that goes by, the nation’s employers move a step closer to having to make play or pay decisions. Many employers have less than a year to prepare for the arrival of this core provision of PPACA. Their decisions are far from easy…the ensuing financial, legal and competitive implications are profound…and the clock is ticking.

Some employers believe that the play or pay mandate will raise their costs and force them to make workforce cutbacks. As a result, they’re ...

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Effect of Health Reform for 50 to 64 Year Olds

Effect of Health Reform for 50 to 64 Year Olds

Gerry Smolka, Megan Multack, and Carlos Figueiredo
AARP Public Policy Institute

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What do the reforms in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mean for 50- to 64-yearolds? Much depends on whether they have health coverage now and on how they get it. Most people in this age group are covered through employers, so employers’ decisions about health benefits shape their options. For those who have modest incomes and who currently buy coverage in the  ...

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