ACA Exchange Options Shrinking

Speaking of government wheels turning slowly, there are more changes coming to the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obama Care), which was passed into law in early 2010.  The largest health insurer in the nation, UnitedHealthcare announced this week that it will vacate most of the state insurance exchanges where it currently does business by the…

Read More »

Miscellaneous

Today is April 15, tax day.  This year though, taxpayers have an extra three days because of the April 16 Emancipation Day holiday.  Emancipation Day is celebrated to mark the anniversary of Abraham Lincoln signing the District of Columbia Emancipation Act, by which some 3,000 slaves were freed in the nation’s capital.  In that the…

Read More »

ACA Marketplace “Improvements” Finalized for 2017

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) this week issued final changes for insurance marketplaces along with the schedule for open enrollment periods in 2017 and beyond.  The specific changes deal with out-of-network costs, required notices when provider networks change and improved risk adjustment formulas among other issues.  In addition however, the CMS finalized…

Read More »

Employer Health Care Premiums Rising

There hasn’t been much to comment lately on the Affordable Care Act and its ongoing implementation until last week when the Congressional Budget Office reported on projected costs for the government mandated coverage going forward.  The CBO projected that employer paid health care premiums will rise steadily by 5% per year for the next decade. …

Read More »

From ObamaCare to Universal Retirement

It’s been over six years since the 2700-page Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) was rammed down the throats of Americans (over 60% of whom were opposed to its passage), so what to do for an encore?  President Obama now wants to mandate that small business next provide retirement plans for all employees – full and part-time. …

Read More »

SHOP Deadline for February Enrollment

Employers wishing to enroll their companies in the Small Health Options Program (SHOP) Marketplace for coverage beginning February 1 must complete the enrollment and make their initial payment by January 15.  Enrollment in SHOP is limited to employers with 50 or fewer employees.  More information on eligibility and timeframes is available on the SHOP website.

Read More »

Congress Passes ObamaCare Repeal

Although it will be quickly vetoed at the White House, Congress passed legislation formally repealing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on Wednesday of this week.  The Senate had already approved the legislation by a vote of 52-47 last month under the reconciliation process, which meant that only 51 votes were needed for passage in the…

Read More »

IRS Extends ACA Employer Filing Deadline

The Internal Revenue Service this week released Notice 2016-4, extending filing and distribution deadlines for the employer reporting requirements of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), thereby giving employers more time to comply with the law. Under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC), employers (both self-insured and those with 50 or more FTEs) must file the requisite…

Read More »

Spending Bill Extends Menu Labeling Date

Speaking of federal extensions, further review of the omnibus spending bill passed by Congress a few days before Christmas reveals that the compliance date for federal menu-labeling regulations was extended by the law.  Originally, the rules were set to take effect on December 1, 2016, but language in the spending bill provides that compliance with…

Read More »

Spending Authorization Ready

As they rush to get to their Christmas vacation, Congress also appears set to pass the other half of the deal – an omnibus spending bill necessary to keep the government operating into the New Year.  With critical legislation such as the Omnibus Spending bill, Congress will often try to attach policy riders to piggy-back…

Read More »