New Summary of Benefits and Coverage Template Must Be Used Now

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

There is a new Summary of Benefits and Coverage template that health plans will be required to use during open enrollment for the 2018 plan year. The new templates were introduced in 2016 and took effect for plan year or open enrollment periods beginning on or after April 1, 2017. The new template is the first major revision of the SBC template since 2012, the first year that health plans were required to use them as required by the Affordable Care Act. The new template has a number of changes that you should know about: There is a new row…
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Breaking News: POTUS Signs Executive Order on Healthcare

| posted in Blog

This morning, President Trump signed an Executive Order intended to improve access, increase choices and lower costs for healthcare. Below is a brief summary of what we know so far. Directs the Labor Secretary to consider regulations/guidance – within 60 days – expanding Association Health Plans, for the purpose of allowing employers in the same line of business anywhere in the country to join together in offering healthcare coverage to their employees. This potentially allows employers to form AHPs through existing organizations, or create new ones for the express purpose of offering group insurance. This could lead to the sale…
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How Many Seniors Get Medicare Open Enrollment Wrong

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

Medicare can be hard to navigate, even if you’ve been enrolled for years. As open enrollment approaches – it starts Oct. 15 and runs through Dec. 7 – you’ll want to pay attention to some of the most common mistakes people make. Not understanding the difference between Original Medicare and Medicare Advantage – With Original Medicare, there is typically no premium for Part A coverage if you or your spouse paid Medicaid taxes while you were working. However, you do pay monthly premium for Part B coverage. Also, with Original Medicare, you can usually see any doctor or specialist you…
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CMS Issues New Medicare Cards for 2018

| posted in Blog

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services has started issuing new Medicare cards, which it will mail out. Because identity theft has been on the rise, the new cards will no longer include your Social Security number. This should reduce the chances of someone stealing your identity should you lose your wallet and all of its contents. Identity theft has affected retirees disproportionately, which is a growing problem. In 2014, 2.6 million individuals aged 65 and over were identity theft victims, compared with 2.2 million the year prior. The following are all the details you’ll need, thanks to the American…
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Individual Market Open Enrollment Starts Today

| posted in Blog

Today is the official start of open enrollment in the individual health insurance market. If you are enrolled with our assistance, or are new to the market, you have until Dec. 15 to enroll in a plan for the 2017 policy year. However if you miss that first deadline and sign up between Dec. 16 and Jan. 15, 2017, your coverage will start Feb. 1, 2017. And if you enroll between Jan. 16 and Jan. 31, 2017, your coverage will start March 1, 2017. People who qualify for Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) can enroll at any…
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Prepare Now for Medicare Open Enrollment

| posted in Blog

Oct. 15 is the official start of open enrollment for Medicare and Medicare Advantage and you should take stock of your situation before signing up for your 2017 plan. Before you get started this year on either renewing your plan or opting for a new one, there are steps you can take to make sure that you get the plan that is best for you and that fits your budget and meets your expected medical needs for the year.   Understand the open enrollment period Open enrollment runs from October 15 to Dec. 7, 2015 for Medicare Advantage (Part C)…
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Identify Your Workers’ Needs, Consider Costs before Open Enrollment

| posted in Blog

It’s almost time for small group open enrollment and you need to drive engagement so that your employees can make informed decisions about their health insurance options. We want to help you help your employees understand all of their options so that they can purchase a plan that is appropriate for their situation. So here is our advice for the open enrollment: Listen to your workforce Before you make any decisions, you should listen to your employees and better understand their needs and preferences. With answers and feedback in hand you can create a benefits package that is more appealing…
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Open Enrollment is Coming to a Close

| posted in Blog, Uncategorized

With the tax penalty larger than it has ever been, now is the time to sign up for health coverage if you are not covered. The “shared responsibility” penalty for going without coverage in 2016 is $695 per person and $347.50 per child, or 2.5% of household income – whichever is higher. The open enrollment deadline is January 31st, 2016. Anyone who has not signed up by that deadline will not be able to enroll until next year’s open enrollment, unless they have a qualifying life event. If you wish to have coverage that is effective February 1st, your deadline to submit…
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ACA Auto-enroll Requirement Repealed

| posted in Blog

The Affordable Care Act requirement that large employers automatically enroll in a group health plan any employees that don’t respond when asked to choose a plan, has been repealed The change came after the employer community had lobbied to have the provision repealed because of the lack of clarity in the law, particularly about how much discretion employers would have in choosing a plan for those workers. Originally the ACA amended the Fair Labor Standards Act by adding a new section requiring employers with more than 200 full-time employees to automatically enroll new full-time employees in the employer’s health benefits…
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Five Ideas for Boosting 401(k) Enrollment

| posted in Blog

While some employees understand the need to set aside money for retirement, many – especially your younger workers – likely do not. That mindset can perhaps be chalked up to inexperience and immaturity, or that they think they cannot spare the funds. But you as an employer can help generate more interest in retirement savings through motivation, education and making it relevant to your workers. As the start of 2016 looms, and with it open 401(k) plan open enrollment, it’s time to start thinking of ways to boost your employee engagement. The website taxbreakll.com has the following recommendations: • Conduct…
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