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Category: "Health Care Reform"

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11/03/14

  10:42:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 220 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

CMS Delays HPID Application and Use Requirement

Late on October 31, 2014 the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced that it is delaying the enforcement of the Health Plan Identifier (HPID) regulations outlining both enumeration and use of the HPID. This is welcome relief for… more »

10/24/14

  05:28:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 360 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform, Taxes

Maintaining Grandfathered Plan Status Now May Cost Employer Later

More than four years since the signing of the Affordable Care Act, over one-third of businesses still offer a grandfathered plan. But the proportion of these plan structures has dropped dramatically since 2010... and in all likelihood will disappear for… more »

10/13/14

  10:43:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 332 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

CMS Online Portal Now Accepting HPID Applications

Several months ago, we noted here that employer-sponsored health plans need to obtain a Health Plan Identifier (HPID) number that will be used in conjunction with electronic transactions related to plan claims and eligibility. Per HIPAA and Affordable… more »

10/02/14

  11:36:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 281 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Care Reform, Online Services

Open Payments Database Provides Glimpse Into Doctor - Drugmaker Relationships

Among the stated goals of the health care reform law was to bring greater transparency to health care costs -- the so-called "Sunshine Act". Toward that goal, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services earlier this week rolled out the Open… more »

09/30/14

  11:13:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 312 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

MedBen Helps Employers Make Changes For The Better

In a recent post on health care cost trends, we reported the findings of a Mercer survey which indicated that employer benefit costs are likely to increase between 3.9% and 5.9% in 2015. We also noted that individual results were heavily dependent on… more »

09/22/14

  06:05:00 pm, by MedBen5   , 331 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform, Reporting

Private Exchanges Take Cost Control From Employer’s Hands

A recent report by the National Business Group on Health concludes that when it comes to private exchanges, self-insured employers are taking a cautious approach – and rightfully so. Because despite their prominence of late, there's no evidence that a… more »

09/12/14

  11:11:00 am, by MedBen5   , 345 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform, Stop-loss

MedBen Savings Solutions Defy Health Care Cost Trends

Another day, another survey… Hot on the heels of this week’s Kaiser report showing modest health plan premium growth comes a survey from Mercer L.L.C. which suggests that the average rate of increase in health benefit costs has begun to… more »

09/10/14

  12:03:58 pm, by MedBen5   , 226 words,  
Categories: News, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform, Consumer-driven Health Plans

Health Benefits Survey Reveals Only Moderate Premium Growth In 2014

Premiums for employer-sponsored health care plans saw only moderate growth for the third consecutive year, Kaiser Health News reports. Based on the annual Kaiser Family Foundation survey of over 2,000 employers nationwide, family premiums rose 3% in… more »

08/22/14

  04:32:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 231 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Care Reform

Obama Administration Attempts To Address Contraceptive Objections

In its latest effort to settle the ongoing controversy over contraceptive coverage, the Obama administration today proposed new measures to ensure that female employees of religious nonprofits and some “closed held” companies have free… more »

08/19/14

  04:34:12 pm, by MedBen5   , 270 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Taxes

Employer Funding Of Individual Policies A Slippery (And Costly) Slope

Employers that offer tax-free individual major medical coverage through cafeteria plans may leave themselves open to significant adverse tax consequences, cautions a bulletin from the Employers Council on Flexible Compensation, a health care industry… more »

08/12/14

  11:24:32 am, by MedBen5   , 223 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

IRS Adjusts Affordable Coverage Rate, Slightly

The IRS has made a minor adjustment to what constitutes group plan member affordability under the Affordable Care Act, Employee Benefit News reports. For plan years beginning in 2015, Revenue Procedure 2014-37 sets the new limit at 9.56% of employee… more »

08/05/14

  12:44:50 pm, by MedBen5   , 213 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Taxes

HHS Rethinks Two-Payment Requirement For Reinsurance Fee

A “final” Affordable Care Act rule issued earlier this year has been tweaked a bit, Business Insurance reports. The Department of Health and Human Services announced that rather than requiring employers to pay the Transitional Reinsurance… more »

07/31/14

  04:35:41 pm, by MedBen5   , 217 words,  
Categories: Prescription, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform, Stop-loss

MedBen Helps Fully-insured Groups Make The Self-funded Switch

Last year, 70% of the self-funding proposal requests to MedBen originated from fully-insured employers… a number we expect to rise in 2014. The Affordable Care Act has caused a dramatic shift in the cost and the demands of heath care coverage –… more »

07/23/14

  04:48:38 pm, by MedBen5   , 250 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform

Subsidy Conflict May Delay "Pay or Play" Mandate (Again)

Two separate – and opposing – federal appellate court rulings issued yesterday regarding subsidies available to individuals enrolled in health insurance exchanges could have long-term implications for another major provision of the… more »

07/22/14

  11:52:18 am, by MedBen5   , 257 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Taxes

Reminder: PCORI Filing and Fee Due By July 31

July 31st is not only the anniversary of the creation of the federal Department of Health, Education and Welfare, it is also the date that the Department’s successor – Health and Human Services – set as the PCORI Fee filing date under the Affordable… more »

07/18/14

  03:31:22 pm, by MedBen5   , 205 words,  
Categories: News, Health Care Reform, Taxes

Tri-Agencies Release FAQ Regarding Hobby Lobby Case

On July 17, 2014, the Tri-Agencies (United States Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and the Treasury) released a Frequently Asked Question notice pertaining to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Burwell vs. Hobby Lobby. As you recall,… more »

07/15/14

  01:05:28 pm, by MedBen5   , 247 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Plan Management, Health Care Reform

Even Pre-ACA, Most Health Plans Covered Contraceptive Costs

The extensive media coverage of the recent Supreme Court ruling on contraceptive coverage – not to mention, the resultant political outcry – has somewhat overshadowed the reality that the decision affects only a small percentage of… more »

07/10/14

  05:02:23 pm, by MedBen5   , 348 words,  
Categories: News, Prescription, Health Care Reform

Contraceptive Coverage Issue Prompts New Bills, More Lawsuits

The Supreme Court made its ruling about employers and birth control coverage last week, but that hardly means the matter has been put to rest. The New York Times reports that two Senate Democrats have introduced legislation to override the Supreme… more »

07/07/14

  11:35:03 am, by MedBen5   , 243 words,  
Categories: Health Care Reform

All Health Plans Required To Obtain HPID Number

Under health care reform, large health plans are now required to obtain a Health Plan Identifier (“HPID”) number no later than November 5, 2014. Just as with previous HIPAA plan size determinations, large health plans are those with more than $5 million… more »

06/30/14

  10:37:49 am, by MedBen5   , 174 words,  
Categories: News, Wellness, Health Care Reform

Supreme Court Votes 5-4 To Allow Religious Exemption For Contraceptive Coverage

In a 5-4 decision, the Supreme Court ruled today that selected corporations do not have to cover contraceptives for women if it conflicts with their religious beliefs. According to the Associated Press, the decision marks the first time that the high… more »

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