Archive for Blog’ Category

President Trump Ends ACA Cost Sharing Reductions | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

20

2017

President Trump Ends ACA Cost Sharing Reductions | Houston Benefit Advisors

On the evening of October 12, 2017, President Trump announced that cost sharing reductions for low income Americans in relation to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) would be stopped. The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has confirmed that payments will be stopped immediately. While there is no direct impact to employers at this time, UBA will continue to educate employers…

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Shhhhhh! | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

16

2017

Shhhhhh! | Houston Benefit Advisors

There are places where you expect things to be noisy, such as a rock concert, and places where you expect it to be quiet, like an office. And while nobody likes being “shushed,” there are few things more annoying than trying to work when someone else is talking in the background. The ‘80s music group ‘Til Tuesday said it best: “Hush hush, keep it down…

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October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

13

2017

October 2017 Executive Order on Healthcare | Houston Benefit Advisors

On October 12, 2017, the White House released an Executive Order, signed by President Trump, titled “Promoting Healthcare Choice and Competition Across the United States.” It is important to note that the Executive Order (EO) does not implement any new laws or regulations, but instead directs various federal agencies to explore options relating to association health plans, short term limited-duration coverage (STLDI), and health reimbursement…

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PCORI Fee Increase for Health Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

9

2017

PCORI Fee Increase for Health Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors

On October 6, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2017-61 to announce that the health plan Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee for plan years ending between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 will be $2.39 per plan participant. This is an increase from the prior year’s fee of $2.26 due to an inflation adjustment. Background The Affordable Care Act created the…

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IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors
Oct

2

2017

IRS Roundup: What Employers Need to Know about the Latest ACA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors

In spite of the recent efforts by Congress to change or repeal the ACA, its provisions are still in effect. The IRS has issued continuing guidance on the affordability rate for coverage, the employer shared responsibility provisions and reporting, and the individual mandate provision. IRS Released the 2018 Affordability Rate The Internal Revenue Service released its Revenue Procedure 2017-36, which sets the affordability percentage at…

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Emergency vs. Urgent – What’s the Difference in Walk-In Care? | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

29

2017

Emergency vs. Urgent – What’s the Difference in Walk-In Care? | Houston Benefit Advisors

We’ve all been there – once or twice (or more)—when a child, spouse or family member has had to gain access to healthcare quickly. Whether a fall that requires stitches; a sprained or broken bone; or something more serious, it can be difficult to identify which avenue to take when it comes to walk-in care. With the recent boom in stand-alone ERs (Emergency Care Clinics…

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6 Reasons People Don’t Buy Life Insurance (and Why They’re Wrong) | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

25

2017

6 Reasons People Don’t Buy Life Insurance (and Why They’re Wrong) | Houston Benefit Advisors

Let’s face it. Most people put off buying life insurance for any number of reasons—if they even understand it Take a look at this list—do any of them sound like you? 1. It’s too expensive. In the ever-burgeoning budget of a young family, things like day care and car payments and possibly student loans eat up a good chunk of the money each month, and…

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Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

22

2017

Court Remands Wellness Regulations to EEOC for Reconsideration | Houston Benefit Advisors

On August 22, 2017, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia held that the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) failed to provide a reasoned explanation for its decision to adopt 30 percent incentive levels for employer-sponsored wellness programs under both the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rules and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) rules. The court declined to vacate the EEOC’s…

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The Risk of Being Uninsured (and the Hidden Bargain in Addressing It Now) | Houston Benefit Advisors
Sep

20

2017

The Risk of Being Uninsured (and the Hidden Bargain in Addressing It Now) | Houston Benefit Advisors

With all the expenses of everyday living, it’s tempting to think of insurance as just another cost. What’s harder to see is the potential cost of not buying insurance—or what’s known as “self-insuring”—and the hidden bargain of coverage. The Important vs. the Urgent We’ve all experienced it: the tendency to stay focused on putting out fires, while never getting ahead on the things that really…

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Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA
Sep

15

2017

Small Businesses Healthcare Competitive, But Faces Two Big Challenges | Houston Benefit Advisors- UBA

We recently revealed how competitive small business health plans are when compared to national averages—and even how they are doing a better job of containing costs. But the UBA Health Plan Survey also uncovers two challenges these groups face in its new special report: “Small Businesses Keeping Pace with Nationwide Health Trends”. 1. Small businesses are passing nearly 6.6 percent more of the costs for…

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