Another Affordable Care Act Mandate Delayed

The Obama administration in February announced that companies with 50 to 100 full-time workers have until 2016 to offer employees health insurance under Affordable Care Act rules. This follows a similar delay that changed the ACA insurance coverage deadline for employers from 2014 to 2015.

Companies with more than 100 employees must offer affordable health insurance to at least 70 percent of their employees by 2015, and at least 95 percent by 2016. Businesses with less than 50 employees are exempt from the mandate.

These Obama changes will affect 50 percent of the businesses that were supposed to comply by 2015. Nearly 8 million workers are employed by the affected companies,

The Obama administration said the delay will benefit employers who might offer coverage to workers who work at least 35 hours per week. Republicans continue to disagree with the delayed mandate, and believe the change should require congressional approval. according to a CNBC report.

In a recent CNBC interview, a senior Treasury official said, “We’ve gotten a lot of requests to give some more time to some small businesses that would otherwise be subject to this, and we’re responding to that by addressing these businesses. We think a phase-in approach is a way to administer the law better, and enhance overall compliance with the law.”

Please read the article by Dan Mangan in its entirety here.

The Right to Health Benefits

The healthcare debate in America has been arduous. These issues have come to the center of the debate between Republicans and Democrats. The two parties continue to disagree on the success of the Affordable Care Act, and the benefits it brings to enrollees.

Many US companies currently have policies in place that support benefits for same-sex marriage and protections for all gay, bisexual and transgender employees. Some companies that have noticeably embraced acceptance are Nissan, General Electric, Proctor and Gamble, and Walmart.

Obamacare currently allows same-sex couples to apply jointly for tax credits to help them pay for coverage, but this is not the case in private healthcare.  In March, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that any insurance plan that offers benefits to opposite-sex spouses must offer the same coverage to same-sex spouses. Companies have until January, 2015 to comply.

With more than 7 million Americans signed up for coverage, the administration considers the law a great success. On April 1, the deadline for uninsured individuals to choose an insurance provider, Obama declared “This law is doing what it’s supposed to do. It’s working.”

The president is calling for Republicans to end their bid to repeal the law.  However, after Obama’s victory speech, Republicans didn’t feel the same. They questioned some plans being canceled, premium hikes, and actual payment from those enrolled.

ClaimLinx is proactively ready for the many changes of Health Care Reform.  For more information please visit the Health Care Reform

section on our website.  For a free brochure, please email help@claimlinx.com.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 513-677-6262; (800) 858-1772 or help@claimlinx.com – we would be happy to help.

Humana Sees 202,000 Insurance Exchange Enrollees

Humana executives are disappointed in the current enrollment number of 202,000 from the state and federal insurance exchanges, according to an article in Modern Healthcare. That’s less than half of what competitor WellPoint has recorded. This figure accounts for less than 7% of those registered in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act since January 2014.

Those 40 and younger are making up 35% of membership, which is a 2% increase. Humana is attributing the younger enrollee numbers to options for lower deductibles.

Executives expect the low enrollment numbers to greatly affect their bottom line, and staff cuts to possibly follow. Humana’s Chief Operating Officer, James Murray said, “When we don’t get the revenue that we anticipated and we’ve built the administrative infrastructure to support that, we have a scale issue.”

Humana watched and benefited as competitors, WellPoint and UnitedHealthcare, were hit hard by the decision to opt out of the Medicare market. Because of the decision, competitors were forced to lower benefits and decrease their provider networks. Due to the low enrollee numbers, Humana may soon have to follow suit and make these same changes.

You can read the entire article by Virgil Dickson here.

ClaimLinx Now Offers Supplemental Insurance Policies

Tom Quigley, Vice President/National Business Consultant, provides consulting services, and is in charge of recruitment and new business for ClaimLinx.

Today Tom is discussing how ClaimLinx is incorporating supplemental insurance into their product line. The addition of supplemental policies for disability, cancer, accidents, surgery, critical illness/hospital indemnity, to name a few, broadens our scope and provides tax breaks for employers and employees. Monthly premiums are affordable and provide peace of mind should you incur a catastrophic injury or illness. Policies cover what health insurance does not, and with the Affordable Care Act, more and more employers are increasing deductibles and passing on more costs to employees. To find out more about supplemental coverage from ClaimLinx, please contact us at sales@claimlinx.com.

ClaimLinx is positioning its clients to move in the right direction.

We We can structure benefits in your favor to ensure you are in full compliance with the law without cutting benefits or employees. Please contact us at at sales@claimlinx.com or(800) 858-1772 X 25 with your questions. Our new book, “How to Beat Obamacare” is now available on amazon.com.

Health Care Reform Law Dodges Bullet

A recent federal court ruling clarified a potentially confusing portion of the Affordable Care Act that relates to employer responsibilities and federal tax subsidies for uninsured workers.

In Halbig v. Sebelius, the federal court ruled that in states where ACA-mandated insurance exchanges are run by the federal government (instead of by the state), employers still have to pay a financial tax penalty if certain employees do not receive insurance, according to an Employee Benefit News article.

Additionally, qualified employees who purchase insurance in state exchanges operated by the federal government can receive tax credits to help pay for their insurance, according to the federal ruling.

At issue in the case was a portion of the ACA, under the Internal Revenue Tax code, that says, “eligible taxpayers may receive income tax credits for purchase of insurance “through an Exchange established by the State” under the portion of the act that allows states to create health insurance exchanges. The language did not mention state exchanges run by the federal government. Currently, there are 27 state exchanges facilitated by the federal government.

The court ruled that, yes, taxpayers can receive credits for purchasing insurance, regardless of whether the exchange was set up by the state or federal government.

Please read the entire article written by Alden J. Bianchi here.

ClaimLinx is proactively ready for the many changes of Health Care Reform.  For more information please visit the Health Care Reform section on our website. For a free brochure, please email service@claimlinx.com. Our healthcare exchange is live and you can view it here.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at 513-677-6262; (800) 858-1772 or service@claimlinx.com – we would be happy to help.