Health Savings Accounts were authorized starting in January 2004. Since then, AHIP has conducted an annual census of health plans participating in the HSA health plan market. This year’s census shows that enrollment in HSA plans has nearly doubled over the last three years, from 6.1 million enrollees in January 2008 to 11.4 million in January 2011.
“HSA plans continue to be a vital source of affordable coverage for millions of families and employers across the country,” said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP.
Key findings from the census include:
AHIP is reaching out to policymakers on both sides of the aisle about ways to mitigate the potential unintended consequences of provisions in the new health care reform law that could disrupt or limit the availability of coverage through HSA plans, including:
For the full report and slides, please visit the links below:
Full Report: http://www.ahipresearch.org/pdfs/HSA2011.pdf
Does your organizational structure create opportunity? As you develop an organizational model that is efficient it will create opportunities for you that did not exist prior. When your organizational structure is worker-friendly and service-oriented, you will discover that it is also growth-oriented.
Thomas Edison said, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” It takes courage to simplify your organizational structure so that work can take place. And the experience of your customers should not be a maze of unmet expectations that puts them back out on the street.
Your opportunity for tomorrow begins with the right organization today. Are you building a maze to nowhere or a pathway to potential?
© 2011 Doug Dickerson
There are some agents that advise people to waive Part A Coverage when they become eligible. While Part A is an entitlement at no cost (assuming you have worked enough quarters in your life) it prevents you from participating in a Health Savings Account. A recent court decision in Federal District Court rules that any retiree that opts out of Part A coverage, forfeits all past and future social security retirement benefits. The judge supported the current legislation stating that while beneficiaries are trapped ina plan meant for their benefit, there was no loophole to allow them out. Changing this will require congressional action
Republican Presidential Hopeful Pawlenty apparently coined this term this past week. And its has more then a shred of truth to it – The Obama Health Care Reform was patterned after Mitt Romneys plan in Massachusetts for Universal Health Care. Mitt Romney is a Republican, in case you missed that interesting point.
So how are things in the state of Massachusetts? We have covered this several times in this blog, but new statistics raise my level of concern even higher. In Stoerylines, in BenefitsAdvisor magazine this month, Denis Storey, the editor writes, “Even before former Gov. Mitt Romney signed Massachusetts health reform into law, many warned we would devolve into Canada, where even the simplest procedure requires more paperwork, approvals and wait times than anything we’re used to now. But sometimes prophecies come true.”
Five years into the experiment, the Massachusetts Medical Society reports that more than half of the doctors in the state will not accept new patients. The average wait time for an appointment with an internist was 48 days, 36 days for a family practrice physician. Only 53% of doctors now accept MassHealth. And where do those patients go that need care? The Emerency Room, which has suddenly become efficient. The incredibly expensive, noone knows your history, wait 8 hours to be seen emergency room. And we wonder why health costs continue to spiral out of control.
Can you imagine this in all 50 states?
Genworth sells contracts in 39 states, through independent agents to individuals. Genworth has $145,000.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid services (CMS) have lifted their sanctions against Aetna Medicare. They may resume marketing their Medicare Advantage and Prescription plans effective July 1.
The Health Care Reform act includes the limitation of how much a plan must pay out in claims. The unintended impact of this is the reduction in service (already) by most broker. For insurers, cutting commissions was the easiest way to meet the requirements. More than half of brokers have seen cuts of 25% and some have seen cuts of 50%. To put this into perspective, a typical small group with 5 employees, pays about $3600 a month in premiums, of which $144 is commissions to the agent (some is also kept by some carriers or general agents). On average, I found that a 5 person group average 15 issues a year, averaging about 20 minutes per call to discuss, resolve, and report back. Thats 5 hours. Negotiating the renewal, setting up the paperwork, drafting the employee memos, holding the educational meetings, handling the phone calls and getting everything processed takes about another 5 hours.
Calculating in staff salaries, copy cost, technology and other overhead (phones, rent, etc) that leaves about $250 profit before taxes.
Now lets cut that by 25-50% and any small business owner can see the problem. The broker is left no choice but to cut back somewhere. A recent study shows that 13% have laid off staff, 30% have cut services already, and another 30% plan to by year end. Nearly 40% have stopped selling policies for individuals (they pay less)
Brokers do much more than sell insurance – They serve their clients (not the insurance companies), helping peol;le when they have trouble getting procedures done, guiding them through the system, handling questions and concerns. The provide clients with advice and guidance on the ridiculous amount of regulations that impact every decsion that an employer makes. They provide individual enrollment guidance for each and every employee.
Just thought you should know.
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|Determining Exempt vs. Non-Exempt Employees
The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) is a federal law which requires that most employees in the United States be paid at least the federal minimum wage for all hours worked and overtime pay at time and one-half the regular rate of pay for all hours worked over 40 in a workweek. The FLSA exempts some employees from its overtime pay and minimum wage provisions, and it also exempts certain employees from the overtime pay provisions only. As a result, it is very important to properly classify your employees as exempt or non-exempt.
Job Title Alone Not Sufficient to Determine Status
Exemption for Executive, Administrative, Professional, Computer and Outside Sales Employees
Hourly paid employees who perform certain types of work in the computer field may qualify for exemption if they are paid at a rate of not less than $27.63 per hour.
FLSA Overtime Security Advisor
Note that the FLSA contains several other exemptions from the minimum wage and/or overtime pay protections which are not covered in this Advisor.
Various minimum wage exceptions may also apply under specific circumstances to workers with disabilities, full-time students, youth under age 20 in their first 90 consecutive calendar days of employment, tipped employees and student-learners.
The DOL has set new records for aggressive Wage and Hour enforcement. As an employer, if you need help to ensure that your workers are properly classified, please call the Wage and Hour Division at 1-866-487-9243.
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|New “I-9 Central” Online Resource Helps Employers Understand Form I-9 Requirements for Verifying Employment Eligibility
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has launched I-9 Central, a new online resource center dedicated to Form I-9,Employment Eligibility Verification. This free, easy-to-use website builds on recent employment-related enhancements by providing employers and employees simple one-click access to resources, tips and guidance to properly complete Form I-9 and better understand the Form I-9 process.
New I-9 Central Can Help
I-9 Central also includes a discussion of common mistakes to avoid when completing the form, guidance on how to correct errors, and answers to employers’ recent questions about the Form I-9 process.
Additional Form I-9 Resources Available
USCIS also offers free webinars on completing Form I-9.
For more information related to verifying employment eligibility, please see the HR360 page covering the Immigration Reform and Control Act.