Archive for Health Plans’ Category

Latest IRS ACA Round Up (Including 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments) | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

20

2017

Latest IRS ACA Round Up (Including 2018 Cost-of-Living Adjustments) | Houston Benefit Advisors

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the instructions for Forms 1094/1095 for the 2017 tax year, announced PCORI fees for 2017-18, and announced cost-of-living adjustments for 2018. The IRS provided additional guidance on leave-based donation programs’ tax treatment and released an information letter on COBRA and Medicare. Here’s a recap of these actions for your reference. IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for 2018 The IRS…

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How to Make the Most Out of Your FSA at Year-End | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

13

2017

How to Make the Most Out of Your FSA at Year-End | Houston Benefit Advisors

As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time to act on the money sitting in your Flexible Spending/Savings Account (FSA). Unlike a Health Savings Account or HSA, pre-taxed funds contributed to an FSA are lost at the end of the year if an employee doesn’t use them, and an employer doesn’t adopt a carryover policy.  It’s to your advantage to review the various ways you…

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PPOs Dominate Despite Savings with HMOs and CDHPs | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

10

2017

PPOs Dominate Despite Savings with HMOs and CDHPs | Houston Benefit Advisors

  The findings of our 2017 Health Plan Survey show a continuation of steady trends and some surprises. It’s no surprise, however, that costs continue to rise. The average annual health plan cost per employee for all plan types is $9,934, an increase from 2016, when the average cost was $9,727. There are significant cost differences when you look at the data by plan type….

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4 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Your Life Insurance at Work | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

6

2017

4 Things You Probably Don’t Know About Your Life Insurance at Work | Houston Benefit Advisors

For the first time ever, more Americans have employer-provided life insurance (108 million) than have individual life insurance coverage (102 million), according to a new LIMRA study. And while that statistic sounds good, it actually hides a few important facts you should understand. 1. There’s more to the stat than meets the eye. When you dig a little deeper into the study, you find that…

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2017 Health Plan Survey Shows Sharp Rise in Group Healthcare Premiums | Houston Benefit Advisors
Nov

3

2017

2017 Health Plan Survey Shows Sharp Rise in Group Healthcare Premiums | Houston Benefit Advisors

I’m happy to report that this year’s UBA Health Plan survey achieved a milestone. For the first time, we surpassed 20,000 health plans entered—20,099 health plans to be exact, which were sponsored by 11,221 employers. What we were able to determine from all this data was that a tumultuous Presidential election likely encouraged many employers to stay the course and make only minor increases and…

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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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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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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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The COBRA Payment Process | Houston Benefit Advisors
Aug

29

2017

The COBRA Payment Process | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) allows qualified beneficiaries who lose health benefits due to a qualifying event to continue group health benefits. The COBRA payment process is subject to various rules in terms of grace periods, notification, premium payment methods, and treatment of insignificant shortfalls. Grace Periods The initial premium payment is due 45 days after the qualified beneficiary elects COBRA….

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May

3

2017

Why Private Exchanges Haven’t Taken Off As Predicted | Houston Benefit Advisors

While the health care affordability crisis has become so significant, questions still linger—will private exchanges become a viable solution for employers and payers, and will they will continue to grow? Back in 2015, Accenture estimated that 40 million people would be enrolled in private exchange programs by 2018; the way we see this model’s growth today doesn’t speak to that. So, what is preventing them…

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