Category: Employee Benefits

7 Best Things About the American Health Care Act

Very interesting. This is from an email newsletter and just good to know info. Enjoy…

There are many benefits to the American Health Care Act. Here are our top seven:

  1. It dismantles Obamacare just like we promised and eliminates the individual mandate. Washington has no right to tell the American people what products it must buy. It is a fundamental abuse of our most basic freedoms.

  2. It provides massive tax relief and stops the growing health-care costs. As repeatedly proven by history, free markets and fair competition produce lower costs. By removing burdensome federal rules (i.e. the medical-device tax and health-insurance taxes), we’ll enable the marketplace to produce higher-quality care for you and your community.

  3. It nearly doubles the amount of money people can contribute to market-friendly Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and makes them more flexible, so people can use them to purchase things they actually need, like over-the-counter medications.

  4. It blocks federal funds from going to abortion providers, such as Planned Parenthood, ensuring that your tax dollars are used to save lives rather than to destroy them.

  5. It protects those with pre-existing conditions. The AHCA stops insurance companies from kicking people off their coverage for getting sick, and ensures that people with pre-existing conditions won’t be denied insurance.

  6. It returns power to the states with the biggest entitlement reform in a generation. It puts Medicaid on a budget, ending the program’s open-ended funding, focusing funds on those most in need. What’s more, as we scale back Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion, we won’t punish those who received insurance through Medicaid under Obamacare. We will continue to pay the same rate as before for every person still on Medicaid as long as he or she remains eligible for the program.

  7. It gives all Americans some tax relief. As of now, workers who receive health insurance from their employers benefit because the money both employer and employee use to pay for their health insurance is untaxed. The same goes for Americans who are enrolled in government health care programs. But those Americans who do not have either option do not receive the same benefits. Our plan rectifies this unfairness by offering tax credits and expanded HSAs to help these Americans purchase the coverage they choose.

By repealing and replacing Obamacare with the AHCA, we’re offering the American people freedom, protection, and compassion.

Be sure to share this with your friends and family! Encourage them to #ReadTheBill and discover what the American Health Care Act does and doesn’t do. As always, feel free to reply back to this email with your thoughts and feedback—we read all of your emails!

Plan Would Achieve Universal Coverage but Likely Fall Short of Funds

New Financial Analysis of ColoradoCare Finds Billions in Administrative Savings, but Also Projects Revenue Shortfalls
Date: August 8, 2016
Contact: Deborah Goeken, Vice President of Communications
ColoradoCare, the proposed universal health care system on November’s ballot, would struggle to bring in enough revenue to cover its costs, according to an independent financial analysis released today by the Colorado Health Institute.
The Colorado Health Institute is a nonpartisan source of independent and objective health information, data and analysis. The new study finds that:
  • ColoradoCare would nearly break even in its first year, but would slide into ever-increasing deficits in future years without additional tax increases.
  • On the plus side for ColoradoCare, it would be able to reach its goal of saving money in the health care system by cutting billions of dollars in administrative costs and insurance company profits. That money could be reallocated to provide health insurance to the 6.7 percent of Coloradans who remain uninsured, making Colorado the first state to achieve universal coverage.
  • However, the revenues for ColoradoCare — primarily from a new 10 percent income tax — wouldn’t be able to keep up with increasing health care costs, resulting in red ink each year of its first decade.
The analysis finds that ColoradoCare would face the same financial dilemma as the current health care system — the inability to tame rising health care costs. That would create a structural problem.
Although savings on administrative costs would grow over time, those savings would be overwhelmed by the increasing cost of health care, which is projected to grow faster than tax revenue. This is crucial because taxes would account for roughly two-thirds of ColoradoCare’s projected funding.
This is the second in a series of independent analyses by the Colorado Health Institute of Amendment 69, the proposed constitutional amendment that would create ColoradoCare. The first installmentpublished in April, focused on how ColoradoCare would work and posed key questions about its structure, financing and governance.
Michele Lueck, president and CEO of the Colorado Health Institute, said that these analyses of ColoradoCare fulfill an important part of the organization’s mission of bringing evidence-based information and rigorous analysis to key health care policy discussions.
“By mission and by charge, we do not take positions on legislative choices, policy options or proposed constitutional amendments,” she said. “Our job is to shed light on the issues, bring in disciplined analysis, often where there isn’t any, and allow educated voters and policymakers to make informed choices on matters of health and health care.”
An infographic detailing how the Colorado Health Institute conducted the analysis is available here.
About the Colorado Health Institute: The Colorado Health Institute is a trusted source of independent and objective health information, data and analysis for the state’s health care leaders. The Colorado Health Institute is funded by the Caring for Colorado Foundation, Rose Community Foundation, The Colorado Trust and the Colorado Health Foundation.

1095/1094 Upcoming Employer Reporting.

What is it?

It’s a requirement of the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Starting in January 2016, certain companies offering health insurance coverage during 2015 are required to provide this statement to their employees and file the reports with the IRS.

Who is effected?  Who must comply?

Small employers with fewer than 50 employees offering a self-insured health plan. (IRS Section 6055)  Also, employers with 50+ full time employees (FTEs) offering any kind of group health insurance plan must also file a more complex report. (IRS Section 6056)


It’s on a similar schedule as issuing a W-2 to each employee. This filing is due by January 31, 2016. Therefore, this 4th quarter of 2015 is the time to get prepared. There are several options…

***Please note: This whole process is new and sounds worse than it really is. For example, your current health insurance carrier (i.e. All Savers, Cigna, Humana, etc.) will send you an Employee Enrollment Summary at the end of 2015. This report will list most of the information needed to populate the 1095-B form for each enrolled employee.

What are your options to take action? 

  • Do nothing and bury your head in the sand. (Not recommended. IRS fines of $250/$500 per employee)
  • Self-Service. You can fill in the employer information section of the 1095-B form and have each employee fill out their own 1095 form similar to a W-4, I-9, etc. Then you fill out the employer 1094-B transmittal & submit to the IRS by the end of February or March, depending on if filing electronically.
  • Interview your current payroll service or CPA as they may have a suggestion to populate these forms and can possibly help you electronically file with the IRS.
  • Outsource to a full-service solution capable of handling the 1095 reporting requirements. Such as Mosaic Employer Solutions, EaseCentral, BASIC, TASC, Payroll Vault or Benefit Comply.

Here’s the bottom line to ask yourself:

How are we going to populate & file the required 1094/1095 forms this January?

Remember, we’re here to help too.


Health Coverage: New IRS Guidance on Forms 1094 and 1095

The IRS has provided both new and updated Q&A guidance on the reporting requirements for applicable large employers under the federal tax code. As background, beginning in 2016, applicable large employers must file Forms 1094 and 1095 to provide information to the IRS and plan participants about health coverage provided in the prior year.

The forms are used by the IRS to enforce employer penalties according to the federal tax code, as well as individual mandate and tax credit eligibility rules. The latest guidance consists of an updated Q&A document covering basic reporting requirements and a new Q&A document addressing more specific issues that may arise while completing Forms 1094 and 1095.

Here are some highlights:

  • Clarifications on who must report. The guidance clarifies that an applicable large employer with no full-time employees for any month of the year is not obligated to report unless the employer sponsors a self-insured health plan in which any employee, spouse, or dependent is actually enrolled. In that case, it must still file Forms 1094-C and 1095-C even if it has no full-time employees. The guidance also confirms that an applicable large employer must file and provide Form 1095-C to all full-time employees regardless of whether they were offered coverage during the year.
  • Controlled groups. Examples show how reporting differs where an applicable large employer reports for separate divisions and where applicable large employers are part of a controlled group. In the former situation, employees working for multiple divisions must receive aggregated information on a single Form 1095-C. In the latter situation, employees will receive a separate Form 1095-C for full-time employment with each applicable large employer in the controlled group.
  • Qualifying offer method of reporting. The updated Q&As now address reporting under the qualifying offer method, which allows applicable large employers to furnish a simplified employee statement to employees receiving qualifying offers for all 12 months of the year. The Q&As emphasize that use of simplified statements is not available for employees who actually enroll in an applicable large employer’s self-insured health plan.
  • Note: No mention is made of the qualifying offer method transition relief available in 2015, which allows an applicable large employer to use a different simplified statement provided that it makes qualifying offers to at least 95% of its full-time employees.
    Delivery to employees. The guidance confirms that a Form 1095-C may be delivered to employees in any manner permitted for delivery of Form W-2, including hand-delivery. However, unlike Form W-2, employers need not furnish a midyear Form 1095-C upon an employee’s request following termination of employment.
  • New hires and terminating employees. When reporting offers of coverage on Part II of Form 1095-C, applicable large employers may indicate that an offer of coverage was made for a month only if the offer would have provided coverage for every day of the month. Therefore, applicable large employers should report on Form 1095-C that no coverage was offered in the month an employee was hired (unless an offer of coverage extended to every day of that month). Similarly, if a terminating employee’s coverage ends before the end of the month of termination, the applicable large employer must report that no coverage was offered for the month. (In each case, the applicable large employer may be able to avoid liability for employer penalties under the federal code, even though coverage was not offered for the full month.) In contrast, when reporting coverage information under Part III of Form 1095-C, an employee should be reported as having coverage if the employee is enrolled on any day of the month.
  • Note: The disparate treatment of partial months of coverage highlights the multiple purposes of Form 1095-C. Under the federal tax code, applicable large employers generally get credit for offering coverage for a month only if the offer applies to the full month — but an individual avoids the individual mandate penalty for a month by having coverage on any day of the month.
  • Third-party reporting. The guidance verifies that applicable large employers may designate third parties to perform reporting on their behalf. The new Q&As confirm that a governmental applicable large employer may designate another governmental entity to accept reporting responsibility on its behalf; they also explain the allocation of responsibilities under various combinations of self-insured and fully insured coverage options.
  • Reporting offers of COBRA coverage. New Q&As illustrate reporting under various COBRA scenarios. The guidance explains how sponsors of self-insured plans should report enrollment information for non-employee COBRA beneficiaries, such as former spouses. Qualified beneficiaries electing COBRA independently from the employee must receive separate forms, while those who have COBRA due to an employee’s election should be included on the same form that is provided to the employee. (As previously noted in the instructions to the final forms, reporting may be made on either Form 1095-B or 1095-C for individuals who were not employees at any time during the year.)
  • Several examples illustrate how an applicable large employer should complete Form 1095-C for full-time employees who receive a COBRA offer due to termination of employment or a reduction of hours. In general, a COBRA offer made due to termination of employment is reported as an offer of coverage only if the former employee enrolls in COBRA coverage and the employee’s cost of coverage reflects the COBRA premium for the lowest-cost, self-only coverage providing minimum value. In contrast, a COBRA offer made to an active employee due to a reduction of hours would be reported as an offer of coverage on Form 1095-C even if the employee declines COBRA coverage.
  • Note: Unfortunately, the example used to illustrate this final point does not extend more than 60 days after the loss of eligibility, so it is unclear whether the applicable large employer would still report that coverage is offered after the employee’s COBRA election period has ended.

With mandatory reporting starting in early 2016 (for 2015 coverage), understanding the complexities of the reporting requirements is critical. While some of the Q&As contained in this IRS guidance were previously addressed in the instructions to Forms 1094 and 1095, others provide helpful clarifications and new information. Employers subject to the reporting requirements should give careful attention to this and future guidance as the reporting deadline draws nearer.

BASIC ACA Elevate service options helps employers navigate three critical aspects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Our two solutions help you to determine your ACA classification status, manage employee hours for “Full-Time Equivalent” classification and complete the reporting requirements under section 6056. We provide two different service options to fit your company’s needs. ACA Elevate- Option 1 (Year-end Filing) provides year-end filing for those employers with simpler ACA reporting needs. Such as medical offices, banks, law firms and more. ACA Elevate- Option 2 (Monthly Tracking & Filing) is geared towards businesses that require monthly tracking along with year-end filing. Making it ideal for employers with multiple variable hour employees, such as restaurants, casinos, staffing agencies, and other companies with difficult measurement periods.


5 Affordable Benefits Employees Appreciate But Few Companies Offer

Great article in Entrepreuner magazine. Here’s the link


What Benefits Make for a Complete Benefits & Compensation Package?

unnamedArticle written by by Ben Mueller @ Namely

Employees have spoken, and a paycheck alone just won’t cut it anymore. Today’s top talent demands total when it comes to total compensation, and that includes salary, a rewarding culture that celebrates success, and—you guessed it—top-of-the-line benefits.

But, with 90 percent of employees admitting to not understanding the yearly changes to their policies and 73 percent just choosing the same benefits year after year, employees feel incomplete. So what is it that they’re really looking for? We’ve compiled the infographic below to serve as a guide to help you decide which benefits to offer employees. Here’s just the tip of the iceberg:

  • 47 percent of employees say their company’s healthcare program is one of the reasons they stay with the company.
  • 72 percent of employees want 401(k) matching.
  • 27 percent of employees feel that paid training and tuition reimbursement are very important to their overall job satisfaction.
  • 57 percent of employees say they’d be willing to accept a job with lower compensation but a better benefits package.

For a total compensation package that’s packed, wrapped, and ready for the best talent, be sure to offer the benefits employees want most. A complete HR solution like Namely makes offering the right benefits easy by combining expert brokers, technology, and the plans your employees actually want. It’s benefits made easy.


Self-Funding, Stop-Loss and Balanced Funding Offer Employers More Options

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If you employ a healthy workforce, your company has the chance to see lower health care costs thanks to self-funding and stop-loss insurance options. Previously only for larger employers, self-insurance now includes financial levers (called level-funding or balanced-funding plans) that help smaller companies translate low heath-claim risks into low health insurance costs.

Self-Funded Plans Grow in Popularity

Self-insurance plans were once reserved for the biggest companies, which were best suited to afford and manage the administrative responsibilities that come with self-insurance. In the traditional self-funding model, the employer paid all health care costs directly as the claims came in. Generally, these traditional plans included a stop-loss contingency in case one employee has a sudden and dramatic increase in care costs because of an expensive illness or accident.

Lately, however, companies of all sizes are joining the self-insured trend, according to Kaiser Family Foundation data. It’s more common now to see employers banding together to create a larger pool of employees for a self-insured health plan. For example, a chamber of commerce will often offer all its members a self-funded plan. It’s important to note, though, that not all employers will meet the criteria to gain access to these insurance options. Your employees will likely first go through a health evaluation, and if the risk of health claims is low enough, your entire workforce will become part of a plan that services a group of companies.

Managing the Risk

Stop-loss insurance is an integral part of self-insurance. Without it, the employer or employee group is fully liable for catastrophic, or high dollar, claims. One person could drive up health costs enough to strain the budget of the employer paying directly for the health claims. Stop-loss insurance acts as a means of putting a cap on that risk, ensuring you won’t go bankrupt from paying the claims for an unexpected health event. The general trend with stop-loss premium costs is the lower the cap, the higher the premium.

Balanced Funding Allows for Budgeting

Balanced funding, or level-funded, plans are a form of self-insurance specifically created for smaller employers. With the traditional self-funding plan, the employer couldn’t budget consistently — except for the stop-loss limit, there was no way for employers to predict the cost of health care each month. For small employers working with tight budgets, self-funding was too financially uncertain.

Level funding solves those budgetary concerns. With a set dollar amount each month (based on the number of employees), level-funding plans keep an ongoing tab of credits and debits for health care bills. If claims are less than the amount, a credit is issued at the end of the year, and if claims go over the amount, the stop-loss policy is implemented. Level funding therefore offers the risk prevention from stop-loss coverage while providing a stable, consistent payment throughout the year.

Level-funded plans, along with stop-loss insurance, offer a way for you to take control of health options and cut down on costs. Whether solely through your business or as part of a group of employers that implement a self-funded plan (with level funding, if desired), self-insurance is a viable business option that provides flexibility, potential savings and a low level of risk.

Written by Dylan Murray  |  April 7, 2015.  Published at Anthem’s “Making Healthcare Reform Work” blog.

Wellness Works….

How Humana Wellness programs can reduce employee stress (and its related costs)

What is Wellness Works?
Wellness Works helps you stay informed about the latest and greatest in Humana Wellness. It will regularly share wellness-related outcomes, data points, testimonials, and thought leadership content in a convenient and efficient format.

In the spotlight
The focus of this Wellness Works is workplace stress and Work-Life Services. Employee stress is unavoidable, but when left unchecked, it can cost employers money with staff turnover and lost productivity. Keep reading to learn more about how Work-Life Services can help minimize these costs.

Did you know?

  • A survey of almost 7,000 U.S. workers showed 42% had quit a job due to stress.1
  • 51% of employees say they’re less productive at work because of stress.2
  • Evidence suggests that financial stress may directly affect employee health and well-being, thereby lowering worker productivity and increasing absenteeism.3
  • Humana Work-Life Services can help!

What is Humana Work-Life Services?
Work-Life Services is a program that helps employees and their household members with childcare, adult/elder care, and everyday needs. Employees call a Work-Life specialist, who can help them by providing research, guidance, and customized referrals. Specialists can locate:

  • Day care facilities, nannies, back-up childcare, schools, and other child-related service providers
  • Nursing homes, assisted living facilities, home healthcare providers, community-based programs, and other adult care-related service providers
  • House repair services, pet walkers or pet day care, local youth development or community-based sports programs, gyms, party planners, and more

These service provider referrals are based on the caller’s stated preferences, such as location, price range, and schedules. For the employees who call, Work-Life is confidential, is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is offered at no cost to them. Work-Life is usually combined with the Employee Assistance Program (EAP) for enhanced employee support.

Humana Wellness works!
With Work-Life Services, employers can experience an uptick in productivity. Using the program allows employees to save themselves time and stress, as well as refocus on their work while at the office.
According to self-reported surveys, employees consistently stated that, as a result of using Humana Work-Life Services, the following increased:

  • Their ability to handle the situation for which they sought assistance (Average score of 3.8 out of 5)
  • Their ability to be productive or accomplish things at work (3.9)
  • Their overall quality of life was better (3.6)4

Wellness is not just a solution for lowering the growth of healthcare costs; it is also a way for employers to avoid costs that stem from employees’ everyday concerns, issues, and sources of stress.

Feedback? We welcome your feedback on Wellness Works. Send your comments to:Humana Wellness Communications.

1 “42 Percent of Employees Have Changed Jobs Due To Stress,” Forbes, April 18, 2014.
2 “Psychologically Healthy Workplace Program Fact Sheet,” APA, 2010.
3 MetLife Global Financial Wellness Study 2011.
4 “HRI WL BOB Client Satisfaction Overview,” Jan–June 2014.