HHS Amends SHOP Standards In Proposed Rule

The Department of Health and Human Services has issued a proposed rule that would implement provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) regarding health insurance exchanges and the Small Business Health Option Program (SHOP). Specifically, this proposed rule would amend existing regulations regarding triggering events and special enrollment periods for qualified employees […]

HHS Finalizes Rules On Premium Stabilization Programs, Exchange User Fees, SHOP Program, And MLR Under Health Reform

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule that provides further detail and parameters related to: the risk adjustment, reinsurance, and risk corridors programs (know as the premium stabilization programs); cost-sharing reductions; user fees for a federally-facilitated health insurance exchange; advance payments of the premium tax credit; a federally-facilitated Small […]

Spending On Wellness Incentives Has Doubled In The Last Four Years

Corporate employers plan to spend an average of $521 per employee on wellness-based incentives within corporate health care programs, which marks an increase of 13 percent from the average of $460 reported for 2011, and is double the per employee average of $260 reported in 2009, according to recent research from Fidelity Investments and the […]

Most Employers Do Not Understand True Cost Of Complying With Health Care Reform

The majority of employers want to avoid cost increases for their group health plans—however, 51 percent indicated that they have not calculated the cost of complying with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a recent research from global insurance broker Willis Human Capital Practice. Among employers who have tracked the cost […]

Interim Final Rules Published On ACA’s Employee Whistleblower Protections

The Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has published an interim final rule that governs whistleblower complaints filed under Sec. 1558 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). This provision of the federal health reform law offers protection to employees against retaliation by an employer for reporting alleged violations of […]

HHS Issues Final Rule On Insurance Reforms, Rate Review Program

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a final rule that implements provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) designed to protect consumers from insurance company abuses. The final rule was published in the February 27 Federal Register. The final rule implements provisions related to fair health insurance premiums, […]

CMS Releases Parts C And D Proposals, Reduces Part D Deductible For 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has released a proposed rule that establishes requirements for medical loss ratios (MLRs) for Medicare Advantage (Part C) and prescription drug plans (Part D), which, according to CMS, promote greater accountability and transparency. The proposed MLR rule was published in the February 22 Federal Register. In addition, […]

Enrollment Tops 100,000 In Health Reform’s Temporary High-Risk Pool

According to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, 103,160 individuals have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) as of Dec. 31, 2012, the temporary high risk health insurance pool established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The 103,160 figure means that enrollment has increase 3,695 since November 30. While […]

Less Than 2.5 Percent With Employer-Sponsored Coverage Switched Health Plans To Reduce Costs Or Increase Quality

Less than 2.5 percent of Americans in 2010 with employer coverage initiated a change in health plans to reduce their health insurance costs or get a better quality plan, according to recent research from the Center for Studying Health System Change (HSC). The study, Few Americans Switch Employer Health Plans for Better Quality, Lower Costs, […]

IRS Updates FAQs About Small Business Health Care Tax Credit

The Internal Revenue Service has provided questions and answers on four aspects of the small business health care tax credit. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act added IRC Sec. 45R, which provides a tax credit of up to 35 percent of premium costs for small employers offering health insurance. Under the provision, an eligible […]