01/23/2017  It's Not a Repeal and It's Not a Replacement

It’s inevitable – the ACA in its current form will most likely not survive 2017.  Republicans are to repeal the law and the House and Senate have already passed several procedural changes to allow for a repeal to take place.  We do know something will happen – we’re just not sure what it will be.

Budget Reconciliation and ACA Repeal – How can it be accomplished?

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12/19/2016  Ever heard of an Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSE HRA)?

Ever heard of an Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSE HRA)? This new form of HRA is designed to specifically allow small groups, those that do not have 50 FTE, to pay for individual health insurance premiums for their employees. The new rules surrounding the Employer Health Reimbursement are complicated and they are set to go into effect January 1, 2017. 

Who can have a QSE/HRA? Only an employer who does not meet the definition of an applicable large employer under the ACA, and who does not offer coverage to its employees. 

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11/29/2016  Things are Heating Up in Trump Tower

Things are heating up in Trump Tower, and everybody is watching.

As President-elect Trump starts selecting his cabinet, there are some interesting picks to the “dream team” for President-elect Donald Trump. He named a vociferous Obamacare critic and an Indiana policy consultant to help him overhaul the U.S. healthcare system.

Republican Rep. Tom Price, an orthopedic surgeon from Georgia, will be Trump's Health and Human Services secretary, and consultant Seema Verma will lead the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, a powerful agency that oversees government health programs and insurance standards.

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11/03/2016  NJ Re-Adoption of the Small Employer Rules for 2017

There are a few important parts of this re-adoption that you need to be aware of as they will affect your business...

1. The definition of an Employee has changed to the following: Employee means an Employee of the Policyholder under the common-law standard as described in 26 CFR 31.3401(c)-1.  A common-law employee is one who receives a W2.  An individual and his or her legal spouse when the business is owned by the individual or by the individual and his or her legal spouse, partners in a partnership, two percent shareholders in a Subchapter S corporation, sole proprietors and independent contractors are not employees of the Policyholder.  Employee also excludes a leased employee. 

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10/07/2016  Carrier Consolidation – An Update

Despite all the attention these last few month’s focusing on the Presidential election and the upcoming open enrollment season – activity continues around a number of large insurance carrier mergers.

As background, Cigna has agreed to be acquired by Anthem Inc. and Aetna is in the process of acquiring Humana.  Both transactions are currently being blocked by the U.S. Justice Department who has filed suit this past summer on antitrust grounds.  Once the lawsuits were filed, all 4 carriers began to aggressively pursue ways to complete these transactions.

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09/27/2016  United against Amendment 69

In November, Coloradans will vote on Amendment 69, also known as ColoradoCare. This amendment would eliminate private health insurance coverage and mandate the state to launch a sweeping, government-run health care program with:

  • An unfair tax burden on workers, families and businesses.
  • An unknown board of trustees in charge of your health, with little to no accountability.
  • $25 billion in new taxes the first year – double the state’s current budget.
 

Sound like a bad idea to you? It is. As a broker, your entire business is at risk. Colorado for Coloradans is a public-private coalition agrees, and is working to defeat Amendment 69.

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09/19/2016  The Presidential Election and the ACA

Election day is rapidly approaching bringing to a close one of the most unique Presidential elections in history.  As we get closer to November 8th, many are looking at what either a Clinton or Trump Presidency might look like relative to its impact on the Healthcare Industry. 

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09/13/2016  Amendment 69 Makes Things Hazy For Your Clients

The sweeping health care scheme on the November ballot in Colorado provides few details on how the plan would take shape – and leaves voters with little clarity.

As a broker, you are probably aware that Amendment 69 would virtually eliminate the health insurance business in Colorado. But the proposed legislation is vague and raises many questions. Let’s take a look at what we know (and don’t know) about Amendment 69.

We know all Coloradans lose their current plans. We don’t know what would replace that coverage.

Amendment 69 would push out private insurance in favor of government-administered health care. New benefits and providers are not specified. Amendment 69 would leave employees with uncertainty about the health of their families.

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09/07/2016  2017 Individual Premiums – How High?

We’ve been talking for months about how high premiums might rise in 2017 - but we never expected to see prices as high as what has been released.  I guess the concept of the “Affordable” Care Act (ACA) is still a dream for many.  Although not every state has yet to be finalized, it appears the average increase will be well into double digits and increases above 30% are not uncommon.

In some states like North Carolina and Tennessee, carriers revised their rate requests upward to reflect the impact caused by other carriers exiting the market.  After careful review by regulators, they reluctantly are approving these huge increases as the financial data submitted by carriers support their need.

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08/30/2016  Amendment 69: Who’s in charge here?

Amendment 69, the controversial issue on November’s ballot in Colorado, would create a huge, government-run health care system to replace private health insurance in the state – ultimately eliminating your business in Colorado.

Opposition to the plan is based largely on cost – the plan would double the state’s entire budget in its first year alone and place an unfair tax burden on all workers and businesses.

But the question of who will run this powerful program and how it will operate is another hurdle.

Amendment 69 would create a huge new system supported by tax dollars, but it would operate outside state government and limitations of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR). This new entity would not be accountable to the state legislature or governor.

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