Health Plans

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  • Obama offers birth-control coverage compromise for employees of religious nonprofits

    August 22, 2014

    The Obama administration has announced a government workaround to allow employees of religious nonprofits access to birth-control coverage even if their employer has opted not to pay for such medicines.


  • Employers create game plan for expected health care cost increases

    August 22, 2014

    In anticipation of the Affordable Care Act’s excise tax, U.S. employers are planning to take more aggressive approaches to projected single-digit increases in health care costs by revisiting the viability of consumer-driven health plans and spousal and dependent coverage.


  • Small business marketplaces leave room for improvement

    August 21, 2014

    Benefit advisers and employers say a host of challenges is not only to blame for stagnant SHOP enrollment, but must be overcome if SHOP is to enjoy any success.


  • Avoid these 6 worst practices

    August 21, 2014

    Commentary: Benefit advisers hoping to maintain satisfied clients after the first open enrollment period should avoid these common bad behaviors that could cost accounts in the long run.


  • Helping employers close the communication gap

    August 15, 2014

    Employers and employees more than ever need the help of their trusted adviser to communicate in plain language the complexities of today’s health care landscape.


  • Warning: Failure to provide COBRA notices can cost your employer clients big

    August 14, 2014

    Employers who fail to issue a timely COBRA notice could face huge fines, as evidenced by a recent court case in the state of Nevada.


  • Colorado introduces health plan fees to help fund state HIX

    August 12, 2014

    In an effort to raise money for Colorado’s state health insurance exchange, the board responsible for securing its financing has levied a new fee on all insurance policies issued in Colorado, including those sold off of the exchange.


  • Preparing employers for 2015 health plan enrollment growth

    August 8, 2014

    Amidst further rollout of the ACA’s provisions, researchers expect more employees to enroll in their employer-sponsored health plan for 2015 — a surge benefit advisers should be preparing employers to manage.


  • Vermont drops HIX vendor CGI, broker role still in question

    August 5, 2014

    Vermont has cut ties with the vendor of their health insurance exchange, CGI, after continued complaints and errors with the online portal — a 'debacle' further exacerbated by the fact benefit brokers and advisers have mostly been left out of the loop.


  • Advisers and PBMs are closing costly health care loopholes

    August 1, 2014

    Commentary: Pharmacy benefit managers and benefit brokers keep a watchful eye for profit-seekers looking to take advantage of loopholes in the health care delivery system.


  • Frequently asked questions about private exchanges

    July 29, 2014

    Commentary: Benefit advisers and their employer clients continue to have questions about private exchanges. Blogger Dan Garlitz shares some recent FAQs fielded by exchange administrator bswift.


  • Feds release draft tax forms for employer compliance with ACA

    July 25, 2014

    The IRS released draft forms for employers to use to report health coverage offerings to employees, unveiling a glimpse of the administrative onus in store for benefit advisers and their employer clients working to comply with the health law.


  • 3 questions to ask before moving to a private exchange

    July 24, 2014

    The move to a private exchange could be difficult for employees who generally are not accustomed to making benefits plan decisions for themselves, or who balk at the potential of an increased out-of-pocket burden. It’s incumbent upon employers to guide them through the transition to help them accept the idea that having more power and choice is a good trade-off to taking on more risk.


  • 5 ideas for a positive open enrollment season

    July 23, 2014

    Benefit advisers and employers should follow these suggestions from Mercer on ways to make open enrollment 2015 successful for companies and employers alike.


  • Subsidy ruling could further delay employer mandate

    July 23, 2014

    Two court rulings issued this week taking opposing views on the legality of subsidies granted to individuals who enroll in the public health care exchanges have the potential to further delay the employer mandate, say some legal experts.


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