August 2014 - Employee Benefits I AP Benefit Advisors

EBRI Survey: Employee Satisfaction with Health Coverage and Care – PDF

The overall satisfaction rate among consumer-driven health plan (CDHP) enrollees increased in most years … while it decreased in most years among traditional enrollees…. In 2013, 44 percent of traditional-plan participants were extremely or very satisfied with out-of-pocket costs (for health care services other than for prescription drugs), while 20 percent of high-deductible health plan […]

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Infographic – Employers Act to Control Health Care Costs

Insights from the 2014 Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health (NBGH) employer survey on purchasing value in health care. Key concepts: Nearly all employers are changing their health care strategy. Employers use account-based health plans to avoid excise tax. Employers rethink support for spouses. Best performers spend significantly less and deliver high-performance benefits. Contact AP […]

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High Performance Networks Entice Health Plan Sponsors

In a recent SHRM article, it was reported that Health plan sponsors are taking a closer look at high performance networks—also known as “narrow networks”, an exclusive groups of high-value health care providers and health professional organizations recruited to serve a defined patient population. High performance networks among employer-sponsored plans is growing because they promote […]

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IRS Comments (even informal ones) Help Clarify PPACA's Employer Penalties

Annually, the American Bar Association’s Joint Committee on Employee Benefits (“JCEB”) meets with representatives from the IRS and Treasury for a question and answer (“Q&A”) session. While the responses are informal and cannot be relied upon, they provide helpful clarification on a number of issues. In this year’s meeting, the agency highlighted the employer shared […]

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New rates for 'affordable coverage' under ACA announced

Under PPACA (the Affordable Care Act), large employers are required to provide “affordable” coverage beginning in 2015 or they will face penalties of $3,000 for each full time employee that obtains a subsidy on a Federal or State Exchange (called Marketplaces). The definition of affordability has been amended for 2015. The definitions are: 2014: with […]

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Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC) and Transitional Reinsurance Program Fees

Many HR professionals are under the impression that Minimum Essential Coverage (MEC), also referred to as “skinny plans”, was subject to the same Transitional Reinsurance Program fees that are levied against traditional self-insured group plans. However, CMS has been subsequently quoted as saying, that these fees will not apply to MEC plans. The pertinent fees […]

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Informational Draft Transmittal and Reporting Forms Released by IRS

The Internal Revenue Service recently released initial drafts of forms for use in reporting health insurance coverage offered by applicable employers. Additionally, draft forms for minimum essential coverage by insurers and employers of self-insured plans were released, as well as a forum for public commentary. The draft forms are currently posted at IRS.gov/draftforms as information only. […]

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Webinar: New Federal Appeals Court Rulings Impact On Subsidies, State Exchanges & Taxes

Join AP Benefit Advisors Senior Counsel Patrick Haynes as he reviews recent Federal Appeals Court rulings and the potential impact on larger employer health plans. The D.C. Federal Circuit Court ruled that the Affordable Care Act only permits subsidies for individuals enrolling through state exchanges (not the federal exchange). The subsequent 4th Circuit ruling says […]

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