Author Archives: Reeve Conover

Empire Blue Cross and Westchester Medical Center fail to agree

As you know, Empire has been working diligently with Westchester Medical Center Health Network* (“Westchester Medical Center, Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester and Bon Secours Charity Health System”) for a new multiyear agreement. Unfortunately, both parties were not able to reach an agreement and Westchester Medical Center Health Network’s contract with Empire terminated on June 1, 2019. As of June 1, 2019, Westchester Medical Center Health Network is no longer an in-network provider with Empire. In addition, some doctors who only admit to Westchester Medical Center Health Network and do not have admitting privileges at another in-network hospital may also be impacted. Except for any transitional care services subject to certain conditions, this means any claims for services received from Westchester Medical Center Health Network on or after June 1, 2019, will be considered out-of-network. Our number one priority is to protect consumers’ access to healthcare that is affordable and meets their specific needs. Empire cares about the value of the healthcare coverage our members and their families receive and Empire will continue to have nationally recognized, high-quality healthcare alternatives for our members. Members can visit http://www.empireblue.com for a full listing of participating facilities. * Westchester Medical Center Health Network includes the following facilities: Westchester Medical Center Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital of Westchester Bon Secours – Good Samaritan Hospital Bon Secours – Mercy Community Hospital Bon Secours – St. Anthony’s Hospital

Emblem and Stonybrook settle

Please be advised that the EmblemHealth Small Group Select Care Network and the Stony Brook hospital system have reached an agreement. As a result, Stony Brook University Hospital and Stony Brook Southamption Hospital will continue to be a part of this network. To search for hospitals in the Select Care Network, you can visit emblemhealth.com/find-a-doctor.

Health Savings Account increase for 2020

The IRS announced that for 2020, HSA contribution limits will increase to $3550 for individuals, and $7100 for family coverage.  In order to be eligible the participant would have to be in a qualified High Deductible Health Plan with a minimum deductible of $1400.

Massachusetts requires paid family leave for all employers

Employers have until June 30 to comply with the law.  Click here to read the full text of the article. 

The actual benefits will not become available until 2021, but employers must begin making contributions to the PFML trust fund on July 1, 2019.

Specifics of the coverage:Leave Allotments. Beginning in 2021, workers are eligible for paid family and medical leave, which runs concurrently with other types of leave under state and federal law and may be used as follows: Family Leave: Up to 12 weeks in a benefit year for: the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child; the care of a family member with a serious health condition; or due to a qualifying exigency for a family member’s active military duty. Up to 26 weeks in a benefit year to care for a family member who is a covered service member. Medical Leave: Up to 20 weeks in a benefit year for a serious health condition that incapacitates the covered individual from work. Covered Businesses. The law applies to all “employers” who have employees in Massachusetts, as well as “covered business entities,” which are businesses that use 1099 contractors for more than 50 percent of their workforce.

Westchester to require paid leave for domestic violence

Effective October 30, 2019, Westchester County, NY employers will be required to provide paid leave to employees who are victims of domestic violence or human trafficking. Leave under the new ordinance will be in addition to paid time off already required to be provided to employees under the Westchester County paid sick leave law, which took effect on April 10, 2019.

For the entire article, click here.  Victims will be able to use up to 40 hours of paid leave per year.

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Reeve Conover is a Registered Representative. Securities offered through Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a Broker/dealer member FINRA/SPIC. Cambridge and Conover Consulting are not affiliated. Licensed in SC, NC, NY, CT, NJ, and CA.
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