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February 22, 2013


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In This Issue
Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First
To Expand or Not to Expand, That Is the Question
Another Exchange Deadline Has Come and Gone, States Still Left Undecided
Medicare Disadvantage?
Capitol Conference Preview
Compliance Corner Update
What We're Reading
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Second Verse, Almost the Same as the First

HHS released a final rule on Wednesday, February 20 that covers the definition of essential health benefits (EHBs) and the determination of actuarial value for the individual and small group markets. The new rule also sets the minimum value of coverage that large employers need to meet to avoid the health reform law’s employer mandate excise tax penalties. HHS released calculators for determining actuarial value in individual and small group plans and minimum value for employer plans subject to the responsibility requirements. If some of these documents looks familiar to you that is because the final rule is extremely similar to the proposed version that was issued in November 2012... Read More

To Expand or Not to Expand, That Is the Question

The Medicaid expansion component of PPACA has been making bigger headlines than usual this week. The expansion, which was one of the provisions of the health reform law that was reviewed by the Supreme Court last June, originally called for all states to expand their Medicaid program to 133% of the Federal Poverty Level (an average annual income of $14,856 for one adult). Back in June however, the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government could not force states to expand if they did not want to. Since then, states have slowly been deciding whether or not they wish to expand their Medicaid programs. Expansion, along with other major PPACA provisions, is set to begin in January of 2014... Read More

Another Exchange Deadline Has Come and Gone, States Still Left Undecided

February 15 was the final deadline for states to decide whether or not they wanted to enter into a partnership with the federal government or default to a federally facilitated exchange. Leading up to the deadline, six states had yet to make a decision and some still remained undecided. States that failed to formally notify the federal government of their decision automatically defaulted to a federally facilitated exchange. As of the deadline, the federal government will be implementing 26 state exchanges, which is way more than they had originally anticipated...  Read More

Medicare Disadvantage?

It seems that essential health programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare, are always the first on the chopping block when it comes to budget cuts. This is largely due to the fact that these programs consume an enormous percentage of federal and state budgets. While there are components of each program that are in serious need of a fix, the cuts always seem to come from the wrong place. The Medicare Advantage plan is the most recent plan being threatened...  Read More

Capitol Conference Preview

NAHU’s 23rd Annual Capitol Conference is just a few days away! If you have not registered for the event but would like to attend, you may still register onsite. If you can’t make it, after the meeting you will have the option to purchase recordings of conference sessions. We are looking forward to an exciting, educational conference filled with exciting breakout sessions, engaging speakers, riveting panel discussions and of course, NAHU members from across the country!...  Read More

Compliance Corner Update

Last month’s compliance corner webinar on preparing your clients for the possibility of a Department of Labor audit was so popular that we have decided to do a follow up in March. Click here to register for our webinar on March 7 from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. EST to focus on the very specific employer compliance changes that the DOL will be looking for relative to health reform implementation. Ruthann Laswisck, President of Bluewater Benefit Consulting and NAHU Professional Development Committee Vice Chair, will join NAHU’s Jessica Waltman for the presentation... Read More

What We're Reading

Besides the new regulations, draft comment letters and Capitol Conference documents, we did find time to peruse these few reads this week...  Read More

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