Thanks for signing up for The Italy CEs! My favorite singer of all time is…
On February 26, 2020, we hosted an online CE event entitled “What’s About to Happen?”…
Thank you for registering for our quick overview of the proposed rules for HRA expansion.…
From Kaiser Health News: Among the takeaways from this week’s podcast: Outside Washington, concerns about…
Short term plans are currently limited to 90 days in duration. A new GOP proposal would increase the timeframe to 364 days, giving healthy individuals an alternative to ACA-qualified individual plans.
This article explains that the AHCA can’t pass as a reconciliation bill unless it saves $2 billion over 10 years. We’re still waiting on a CBO score on the bill, so it hasn’t yet been sent to the Senate. If the CBO says it saves less than $2 billion or adds to the deficit, the House will have to make changes and re-vote. [NBC News]
This article points out that “you can work full time but not have the money to fix your teeth – visible reminders of the divide between rich and poor.” While Congress focuses on fixing the problems with health insurance, millions of people without dental coverage often go without care. [Washington Post]
Consumer tools are a lot like the vegetables that kids may not want but most definitely need. Nobody really wants a consumer-directed health plan. Prior to the deductible, people have to pay the contracted price for healthcare services and are asked to “shop around” and make better decisions, but right now there’s no good way to compare those options. To make today’s plan designs a little more palatable to employees and to make sure they don’t go without needed care, we have to provide them and their family members with some tools and some alternatives.
Thank you for attending the Texas Association of Health Underwriters Convention April 27th. You can…
Eric Johnson presented three hours of continuing education at the Panhandle Association of Health Underwriters Symposium in Amarillo April 13th. Thank you to Allison Butler and the others for inviting me to speak and for putting on a great event.
Eric Johnson presented six hours of continuing education at the Coastal Bend Association of Health Underwriters Day of Education in Corpus Christi April 7th. A big thank you to Jennifer Pleasants, Sarah Parkey, and the others who put so much work into this great event.
Eric Johnson presented a one-hour CE courses at the San Antonio AHU Symposium April 6th entitled “Improving and Expanding HSAs.” It detailed some of the proposed changes to Health Savings Accounts that are included in various ACA replacement plans.
Eric Johnson presented two CE courses at the Austin AHU Symposium April 5th. The first was about telehealth solutions; the second was about Health Savings Accounts. Both have grown rapidly in recent years and will continue to grow as wait times increase and out of pockets continue to grow.
In this session, Jessica Waltma discusses the failed American Health Care Act, the possibility of reviving the legislation, some of the changes that can be made through regulation, and other bills that might gain some bipartisan support. In a time of uncertainty, Jessica helps clarify what’s already happened and what’s likely to happen going forward.
It was about as close as you can get to a sure thing in politics. But on March 24, after 18 days of in-fighting among House GOP members, President Trump and Speaker Ryan made the decision to pull the American Health Care Act, the reconciliation bill that would have done away with the individual and employer mandates, the individual and small group tax credits, expanded Medicaid, and billions of dollars’ worth of taxes. So what in the world happened? And what can we expect to happen next?
Eric Johnson presented a one hour CE entitled “A Better Way: The Republican Replacement Plan” at the Dallas AHU Technology Symposium March 28th. This was a great event that focused on the growing role of technology in the benefits industry. While Eric’s talk was not technology-related, the day would not be complete without an update on the attempts to repeal and replace the ACA.
While popular, the Age 26 Rule, which allows young adults to stay on their parents’ health plan, should be eliminated. If those young, healthy adults were to purchase coverage in the individual market instead, we’d see premiums come down for everyone.
Is it time to revisit the Single Payer idea? This article makes a pretty good argument for it. [New York Times]
Mr. Trump has told four people close to him that he regrets going along with Speaker Paul D. Ryan’s plan to push a health care overhaul before unveiling a tax cut proposal more politically palatable to Republicans.
President Trump says that the “time has come to give Americans the freedom to purchase health insurance across state lines—which will create a truly competitive national marketplace that will bring costs way down and provide far better care.” This article explains why he may be wrong. [Business Insider]
President Trump and Republican lawmakers have talked a lot about selling insurance across state lines, offering the idea as one of the top answers to the Affordable Care Act. What many don’t realize is that it’s already legal under Obamacare – there just aren’t a lot of takers. [Palm Beach Post]
Health Savings Accounts feature prominently in the new healthcare bill being considered by the U.S. House of Representatives, with a variety of changes in store. But research shows not many participants are actually saving money beyond the initial tax break. [Reuters]
Health Savings Accounts have been around since 2004 and, aside from a few tweaks along the way and an annual adjustment for inflation, are pretty much the same as they were when they were first introduced. That could soon be changing, though. Nearly every major proposal to repeal and replace the ACA—as well as several recently filed bills—include multiple suggestions to improve and expand HSAs.
This is a huge trend in the insurance industry right now. Even within a contracted provider network, insurers are offering better deals at “preferred pharmacies.” It keeps costs down but certainly limits the options for consumers. [Kaiser Health News]
The proposed legislation would repeal the individual and employer mandates back to the beginning of 2016, increase the contribution limits for Health Savings Account, and eliminate many of the taxes created to pay for the Affordable Care Act. Read the bill and an eight-page summary here.
Josh Hilgers and Eric Johnson hosted an industry update for BenefitMall Brokers via webinar on March 6th and 7th. Attendees can download a copy of the presentation “What We Know Right Now About the ACA Replacement Plan” here.
On February 28, President Trump addressed both sessions of Congress on national TV. Here are the five proposals he offered as a replacement to Obamacare.
John Boehner said that he does not believe the Republican-controlled Congress will be able to completely repeal and replace Obamacare: “In the 25 years I served in the United States Congress, Republicans never, ever, one time, agreed on what a healthcare proposal should look like. Not once.”
For small employers who chose not to hang on to the “grandfathered” plan that they had when the health reform law was signed back in 2010, transitional—or “grandmothered”—plans gave them a second chance to avoid modified adjusted community rating and some of the other changes called for by the ACA. However, the transition period will soon be over and grandmothered plans will go away for good.
Most of the GOP replacement plans include a cap on the employer exclusion. The impact on ancillary benefits and tax-advantaged accounts like FSAs will be similar to the Cadillac tax but would require less employer paperwork. [Bloomberg]