Archive for Blog’ Category


Aug

7

2017

Government and Education Employers Offer Richest HSA Plans | Houston Benefit Advisors

Across most industries, HSA contributions are, for the most part, down or unchanged from three years ago, according to UBA’s Health Plan Survey. The average employer contribution to an HSA is $474 for a single employee (down 3.5 percent from 2015 and 17.6 percent from five years ago) and $801 for a family (down 9.2 percent from last year and 13.7 percent from five years…

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Aug

3

2017

Best Practices for Initial COBRA Notices | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) requires group health plans to provide notices to covered employees and their families explaining their COBRA rights when certain events occur. The initial notice, also referred to as the general notice, communicates general COBRA rights and obligations to each covered employee (and his or her spouse) who becomes covered under the group health plan. This notice…

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Jul

28

2017

Employer Strategies for Managing Prescription Drug Costs | Houston Benefit Advisors

Modern medicines have resulted in longer, more productive lives for many of us. Prescription drugs soothe sore muscles after a strenuous workout or manage the conditions of a chronic disease. Unfortunately, this use of prescriptions drugs can come with a hefty price tag. Americans are spending more money on prescription drugs than ever before and the United States as a nation spends more per capita…

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Jul

25

2017

5 Things Millennials Need to Know About Life Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors

Being catapulted into the adult world is a shock to the system, regardless of how prepared you think you are. And these days, it’s more complicated than ever, with internet access and mobile devices being must-have utilities and navigating tax forms when they aren’t as “EZ” as they used to be. Maybe you’re still living with your folks while you get established. Or maybe you’re…

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Jul

11

2017

Top Misconceptions about Long Term Care Insurance | Houston Benefit Advisors

In conversations with HR professionals and benefit brokers, we find that the topic of long-term care insurance (LTCi) is often covered in less than two minutes during renewal meetings. When I ask why the topic of conversation is so short, they tell me, “Employees just aren’t asking about it, so they must not be interested.” If employees aren’t asking about LTCi, does it mean they…

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Jul

7

2017

TeleMedicine | Houston Benefit Advisors

It’s not surprising that 2017 stands to be the year many will have an experience to share using a Telemedicine or a Virtual Doctor service. With current market trends, government regulations, and changing economic demands, it’s fast becoming a more popular alternative to traditional healthcare visits. And, as healthcare costs continue to rise and there are more strategic pricing options and digital models available to…

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Jun

30

2017

DOL Asks for MHPAEA Related Comments; Clarifies Eating Disorder Benefit Requirements | Houston Benefit Advisors

Earlier this month, the Department of Labor (DOL) provided an informational FAQ relating to the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). This is the DOL’s 38th FAQ on implementing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions and related regulations. The DOL is requesting comments on a draft model form for participants to use…

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Jun

22

2017

Senate Releases Health Care Proposal | Houston Benefit Advisors

This morning, Senate Republicans released their proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA), the Senate proposal adopts H.R. 1628, the bill narrowly passed last month by the House of Representatives, but replaces all the text. The Senate proposal was released without going through committee review or being scored by the Congressional Budget Office…

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Jun

13

2017

What Happens to Coverage When Employees Reduce Their Hours? | Houston Benefit Advisors

The Section 125 cafeteria plan regulations and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) require employers to take certain actions when an employee reduces hours. Consider this scenario: An employer has an employee who is reducing hours below 30 hours per week. The employee is performing the same job and duties. The employee was determined to be full-time during the most recent measurement period….

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Jun

1

2017

Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements and ERISA | Houston Benefit Advisors

Certain small employers have the option to reimburse individual health coverage premiums up to a dollar limit through Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (QSE HRAs) under the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures Act). The Cures Act amends the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to exclude QSE HRAs from the ERISA definition of group health plan; however, the Cures Act does not…

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