Health Insurance Exclusions Resulting from Health Care Reform

Despite what proponents of the  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act say, the law doesn’t change everything. In fact, according to HealthPocket, many services often excluded from insurance coverage before health reform remain that way under PPACA. HealthPocket, in analyzing 3,094 health plans in the 2014 individual and family health insurance market, examined what medical services were most frequently excluded from health insurance coverage in 2014 and compared the results to the most common exclusions in the pre-reform health insurance market. HealthPocket found that 80 percent of exclusions remained the same between the 2013 and 2014 lists of medical services most frequently not covered by plans in the individual health insurance market. Still, of course, some have changed. Here are the top 10 health care services most often excluded under PPACA: 10. Weight loss surgery Percentage of plans excluding benefit: 59 percent There have been great strides in just a … [Read more...]

Employer Mandate Delayed

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The Affordable Care Act has thrown businesses another curve ball. Up until yesterday, employers with more than 50 full-time-equivalent employees (FTEs) were calculating the costs of offering their employees ACA-compliant health insurance versus paying a penalty. Yesterday, the U.S. Treasury released a statement that businesses with more than 50 FTEs that fail to offer ACA-compliant health insurance will not see penalties until 2015. An excerpt from the press release states: "Over the past several months, the Administration has been engaging in a dialogue with businesses – many of which already provide health coverage for their workers – about the new employer and insurer reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). We have heard concerns about the complexity of the requirements and the need for more time to implement them effectively. We recognize that the vast majority of businesses that will need to do this reporting already provide health insurance to their workers, … [Read more...]

What is next in Health Care Reform?

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The effective date of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was March 23, 2010, although various provisions have their own effective dates from January 1, 2010, (the small business income tax credit) through 2018. The start of 2013 saw the launch of a number of key provisions, among them Medicare tax increases, limits on Health FSA deferrals and the requirement that W-2 reporting note employer and employee payments for certain health care items in 2012. But 2014 is the year when most core pieces of PPACA will be put into effect, notably the mandates that employers with 50+ employees provide health insurance and that individuals obtain minimum essential health coverage for themselves and their dependents, whether or not they have access to coverage through their employer. Equally momentous, beginning Jan. 1, 2014, states are required to have opened a state-run health insurance exchange, or to have partnered with the federal government to open an exchange. In … [Read more...]

Private Exchanges Gaining Momentum

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Private health insurance exchanges may be gaining traction. According to research from Mercer, 56 percent of employers are considering moving to this model for active or retired employees, tripling in number over the last year. That's good news for RTS, which will help employers and employees by offering them a one-stop-shop for their benefits from multiple insurance providers. Open enrollment will begin this fall with the first policies going into effect on Jan. 1, 2014. Patrick Murphy believes that private exchanges will help employers better manage their costs and reduce their administrative burden while ensuring that employees have easy access to the coverage they need. Because of these advantages, RTS plans to introduce a private exchange for 2014 and beyond. With a private exchange, the model turns to a defined contribution benefits approach, allowing the employer to provide a set amount for employees to spend on benefits. This leads to more stable, predictable costs. … [Read more...]

“Cadillac” Tax Reduced

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The “Cadillac tax” that is part of Obamacare might not cost employers nearly as much as initially estimated. The Congressional Budget Office projects in a new report that taxes on employers' high-premium insurance plans will generate roughly $80 billion over the next 10 years. That figure represents a decline of almost 42 percent from the $137 billion in excise tax revenue in the CBO’s February forecast. Starting in 2018, the IRS will impose a 40 percent excise tax on employer-sponsored health benefits totaling more than $10,200 for individual coverage and $27,500 for family coverage as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. The 40 percent non-deductible tax takes is designed to discourage plans from including features that promote over- or unnecessary use of medical care, such as low or non-existent deductibles and co-pays. The CBO’s latest report says that it lowered the forecasted excise tax revenue figure because of new trends in employer-sponsored … [Read more...]

Want to fix your Business? Focus on People First

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As leaders, how often do we delegate critical people "interactions" and tasks to others? Is interviewing new team candidates the first thing that gets delegated?  How about the training? It's been my experience that the delegation of critical people tasks happens more times then not.  Why?  Because it's hard work to hire people!  Its very time consuming!  Lets face it .. its a pain in the butt to keep training and coaching people!  But if you want to build  great teams, "hands on" is absolutely necessary. Show me an underperforming business unit, and you will most likely find the leader disengaged with his/her people and preoccupied with administrative tasks. As a leader, there is nothing more important then the time you spend with your people. If great performance starts and ends with great performing people, you must spend the time it takes to hire the right candidate and invest the time it takes to develop that individual.   Want to fix your business? Spend time … [Read more...]

5 Tips for Airtight Time & Attendance

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If your employees are pushing the envelope on tardiness and absenteeism, maybe it’s because you haven’t clearly defined what’s acceptable and what’s not. It’s up to management to set clear attendance expectations and take action when employees are pushing the boundaries. Here are some ways you can clearly define the dos and don’ts of your attendance policy, so that everyone in the company is on the same page. 1. Set clear expectations. If you’re fine with people leaving the office when their work for the day is done, say so. However, if your staff needs to be in the office for a certain length of time each day, then you’ll need to set specific work hours and inform your entire workforce. “Examine the culture of your workplace, what makes sense for the business,” says Emily Dusablon, HR advisor for Insperity. “Do you have hours that your business is open to the public? Or are you the type of company that allows employees to determine when and where they perform work?” Let … [Read more...]

Healthcare Reform IS Your Business!

Healthcare Reform (HCR) has been such a hot topic since the first time the words surfaced. Everyone and anyone, regardless of background or position, in the country has wondered what will take place because it carries implications that affect each person. Political Parties and Consumer Groups, along with every group in between have expressed opinions and surmised the impact that such sweeping legislation would bring. One such group is the business owners. No matter what side of the fence you are on, if you own a business you have wondered how HCR would impact your company, your dream, your retirement plan and YOUR bottom line. The truth is it is still difficult to answer that. And if you are like your fellow business owners, you are too busy running your business and focusing on profit-generating activities that you don’t have the time or resources to pour into learning about HCR and what has resulted from the recent Supreme Court ruling. The good news is you don’t have to do the … [Read more...]

When it’s Time to Hang it Up

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What does Mick Jagger, Rickey Henderson, Jerry Rice, Brett Favre and Chris Chelios have in common?  Give up? - YES!  All were (are) legends in their respective professions and - YES - neither appeared to have a well thought out  exit strategy.   One could even argue, all stayed in the "game" a bit too long. What is a Exit Strategy? Wikipedia has a pretty good definition:  "An exit strategy is a means of leaving one's current situation, either after a predetermined objective has been achieved, or as a strategy to mitigate failure.[1][2][3] An organisation or individual without an exit strategy may be in a quagmire. At worst, an exit strategy will save face; at best, an exit strategy will peg a withdrawal to the achievement of an objective worth more than the cost of continued involvement." Why you should have an Exit Strategy? As much as you would not like to admit it, you can't keep doing what you are doing forever.  No one in the history of man has been able to pull that off … [Read more...]

Announcing Tire Dealer Support Services

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Its been a couple of years in the making, but TireDealerSupport.com has officially launched.  Tire Dealer Support is billed as "Home Office Support" for the Independent Tire and Service Dealer. Why TDS? Over the past six years, I had the opportunity  to work with hundreds of Independent Tire and Service Dealers.  I learned a lot!  Especially how hard an Independent Tire Dealer  has to work to compete and win in today's extremely competitive tire and service industry. Having worked most of my career for a national retailer, I know first hand what a huge advantage  it is to be able to focus all of your attention on taking care of customers and running  your daily operations. I think Home office support is a pretty big deal! Tire Dealer Support was founded to level the playing field. To help dealers focus on generating revenue and growing rather then wasting time shopping for support services and meeting with vendors. Ultimately - Retail Tire Support will  provide the … [Read more...]