Tag Archives: National

2016 COLA for Retirement Plans Released

Elective Deferral Limit 402(g)(1)

$ 18,000.00
Catch-Up Limits for 401(k) Plans (Age 50+)

$ 6,000.00
Defined Contribution Dollar Limit 415(c)(1)(A)*

$ 53,000.00
Maximum Compensation Limit 401(a)(17)

$ 265,000.00
Highly Compensated Employee Definition 414(q)(1)(B)**

$ 120,000.00
2016 Social Security Taxable Wage Base

 $ 118,500.00

*URGENT MESSAGE* – Renewing Your Individual Coverage

If you purchased individual coverage and plan on renewing it this year, this is important information.

You will shortly receive a renewal letter, which We may , or may not, get a copy of.  We will be running options on EVERY client the week of November 2 – unless you tell us not to.

There are two types of Renewals:

1)  Passive Renewal – nothing has changed (plans, family size, income, etc), you are happy with your plan, and the company says they will renew you as is in the Renewal Letter.  YOU do not need to do anything, but we ask that you send us a copy of the renewal letter by fax: 843-278-9148, email: Reeve@ReeveWillKnow.com or mail to: Conover Consulting, 105 Lamplight Circle, Summerville, SC 29483.

2)  Active Renewal– Some carriers will require you log back into the exchange and confirm your renewal.  If you have any changes (dependents, income, etc.) you are REQUIRED to log back into the exchange to confirm your renewal.

We are happy to help you with this, but IF YOU CHOOSE TO DO THIS YOURSELF- please let us know you have done so.  Also make SURE to enter my National Producer Number in the NPN box – 1982826.  If you do not you are no longer my client and I cannot help you.

Please call us if you need any assistance 877-423-9990.

Medicare Premiums to rise, but no cost of living increase this year!

New Medicare Beneficiaries, and high earners, are going to get hit with substantially higher premiums.  Those currently on Medicare that are not high-earners will continue to pay $104.90 this coming year.  New Medicare Beneficiaries will pay $159 in 2016.

From the Wall Street Journal

“The rise in premiums seems increasingly likely because the Social Security Administration is expected to announce Thursday that low inflation means Social Security beneficiaries won’t get a cost-of-living increase for 2016.

About 3.1 million more participants would be subject to the rise because of their incomes. The Medicare trustees projected that single individuals earning between $85,001 and $107,000—and couples earning $170,001 to $214,000—would see monthly premiums rise from $146.90 a person this year to $223 in 2016.”

For the full article, click here.

From the New York Times:

“A quirk in the laws governing Medicare and Social Security will expose millions of Americans to a staggering 50 percent increase in their premiums for the part of Medicare that covers doctors’ bills, known as Medicare Part B. It is imperative that Congress pass legislation to protect low- and middle-income people who cannot pay that much.

The problem is that Social Security recipients will not get a cost-of-living increase in 2016, but Part B premiums are projected to rise. The roughly 70 percent of beneficiaries who are “held harmless” will pay the same premium as last year. That means the increased cost will have to be made up by the other 30 percent, because of the rule that premiums must cover one-quarter of Part B costs. This group includes 2.8 million new enrollees, 1.6 million people who don’t collect Social Security benefits and 3.1 million higher-income beneficiaries.”

For the full article, click here

 

More CO-OPs continue to fail across the country

With the collapse of Oregon and Colorado’s CO-OPs,  a third of all the ObamaCare-created plans have gone under.  This represents just shy of a Billion dollars in taxpayer money lost.  ObamaCare legislation was supposed to provide $3 billion in funding to the CO-OP’s – but can only pay 12.5% of that.  The question, “HOw are we going to pay for this law” contiues to rear its ugly head.  With the total for subsidies not yet released, I fear much bigger problems to come.

As we gear up for Open Enrollment 2015 – ObamaCare’s largest CO-OP fails.

ObamaCare created “CO-OP” heath plans, and provided startup loans. But would they survive? Would the theory that not-for-profit health plans could not only compete, but would be “better” than commercial insurance companies, pan out?

It is starting to look like the answer is a resounding “NO.” Co-ops in Louisiana, Vermont, Nevada, Nebraska and Iowa failed earlier in the year. Now the largest CO-OP in the country, Health Republic in New York, has failed. Covering 210,000 members, they lost $130 million in their first 18 months. The New York State Insurance Dept is closing them down in an organized fashion.

The Daily Signal reported, “Robert Moffit, a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy Studies at The Heritage Foundation, said Health Republic’s failure is not surprising given a recent report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general that found 22 of the 23 co-ops experienced financial losses in 2014.

“It’s just the latest costly example of a political attempt to manipulate the health care markets,” Moffit said. “Co-ops should be able to emerge naturally in a free market.””

Another blog reported, on the startup money, “The $356 million for Health Republic went to Sarah Horowitz, a liberal New York political activist who previously launched the Freelancers Insurance Company that state officials have ranked as providing the poorest consumer service among Empire State health insurers.”  In fact, the Obama Administration has given $2.5 Billion dollars to 25 CO-OPS, after being warned by its own experts that most of the CO-OPS would never repay the laons and would fail.  24 are losing money.  By contrast, remember all the noise about the Solyndra Scandal? That only cost $500 million – one fifth the cost of the CO-OPs!

Word on the street is a combination of factors merged to be a recipe for disaster. An administrative team with a questionable success rate, taking on markets that no other company wanted (for a reason?), and underpricing the market all contributed.  Federal requirements that the CO-OPS be run by people with no ties to the insurance industry (as if proper risk management and pricing policies doesn’t require any skills.)

Estimates are that another 10 could fail in the next year, most notably Kentucky- which has the largest enrollment in the country after New York. They have already received additional emergency funding.

In South Carolina, Consumers Choice Health Plan enrolled more than double the number they expected. Their CEO sent a letter this week, apologizing for falling short of their customer service expectations, most likely a result of not being prepared for the tremendous enrollment they achieved. In 2014 they lost $3.8 million. Sadly, this is one of the best performances in the country. Only the Maine CO-OP was profitable. By comparison, the Kentucky CO-OP lost more than $50 million last year.

The great experiment that is ObamaCare, and most specifically CO-OPS, seems to have been designed for failure, and we still have yet to answer the big question: How does the country pay for the estimated $1 trillion in subsidies being paid out over the next 10 years?

 

 

 

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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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