Senate Works to Save CSR Payments, but Too Late for 2018

| posted in Blog

The Affordable Care Act requires insurers to reduce cost sharing (deductibles and copays) in silver-level plans for marketplace enrollees with incomes below 250% of the federal poverty line. Until now, insurers have relied on offsetting payments from the federal government to provide this feature. These payments amounted to $7 billion for fiscal year 2017, $10 billion for 2018 and will reach $16 billion by 2027. However, the Trump administration in August moved to end the controversial set of payments to the insurance industry designed to encourage carriers to remain in the ACA exchanges. These payments – known as “cost-sharing reduction…
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Appeal Promptly if You Get Notice of Staff Receiving Exchange Subsidies

| posted in Blog

More employers have been receiving notices from their state health insurance exchange, informing them that one of their employees has received subsidies to purchase insurance on the exchange and that the employer may be subject to a penalty for not offering employees a health plan that complies with the law. The notices are not calls to pay a fine – only the IRS can do that – but employers need to respond with documentation to show that they did in fact offer affordable coverage that meets the minimum value requirements of the Affordable Care Act. If you receive a notice,…
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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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More Small Employers Restore Health Benefits

| posted in Blog

Many small employers that dropped health insurance coverage for their employees after the Affordable Care Act took effect have reinstated the benefits as competition for talent increases.Companies with fewer than 50 employees are not required to provide health insurance benefits to their workers under the ACA, and after the law took effect, many dropped coverage to let their workers instead buy coverage on public insurance exchanges. Most small businesses also made the change to shift their employees to individual coverage because their workers were eligible for significant government subsidies. But since the exchanges began operating in 2014, the labor market…
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Same-sex Marriage Ruling and Your Employee Benefits

| posted in Blog, Newsletter

In June, the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex marriages are valid and should be performed throughout the United States. While the ruling in the case of Obergefell vs.Hodges is about personal liberties, it also will have an effect on employers’ employee benefit plans – and you need to know how to respond. First, in its ruling the court did not touch on sexual orientation discrimination in the workplace. As a result, the decision does not require employers to treat the same-sex spouses of their employees the same as opposite-sex spouses with respect to the provision of health and welfare benefits….
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