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April 4, 2014

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In This Issue
7 Million and Counting
Taxes Arenít the Only Thing Due on April 15
House Passes 40-Hour Legislation
Small-Group Deductible Cap Repealed under SGR Fix
Insurance Commissioner Power -- Activate!
Sun Life Hosts Summit Focused on Private Health Exchanges
What We're Reading
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7 Million and Counting
We're not sure, but a little bird told us that at some point over the last weekend, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius started obsessively humming the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” theme song because, as it turned out, she was gonna make it after all. Despite perhaps the worst website rollout in history and systems that are still plagued with so many problems that it would require smelling salts for us to attempt to list them all, the federal and state exchanges did eke out their goal of more than 7 million people indicating that they would like to buy health insurance coverage... Read More
Taxes Arenít the Only Thing Due on April 15
We're not sure, but a little bird told us that at some point over the last weekend, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius started obsessively humming the “Mary Tyler Moore Show” theme song because, as it turned out, she was gonna make it after all. Despite perhaps the worst website rollout in history and systems that are still plagued with so many problems that it would require smelling salts for us to attempt to list them all, the federal and state exchanges did eke out their goal of more than 7 million people indicating that they would like to buy health insurance coverage... Read More
House Passes 40-Hour Legislation
Yesterday afternoon, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 2575, the Save American Workers Act of 2013, legislation introduced by Rep. Todd Young (R-IN) that would change the definition of a full-time employee from 30 hours to 40 hours under the health reform law. It passed by a 248-179 vote, with 18 Democrats voting in favor of the bill. The House-approved bill will now be sent to the Senate where, despite pending bipartisan legislation, it will likely not make it to the floor as a stand-alone anytime soon... Read More
Small-Group Deductible Cap Repealed under SGR Fix
Last week, we reported that the House of Representatives had passed a one-year Sustainable Growth Formula patch. That legislation also included a repeal of the $2,000/ $4,000 small-group deductible cap, an issue NAHU has actively worked on since the law’s inception. This week, the Senate also voted to approve this legislation and President Obama later signed it into law. Now that the small-group cap no longer exists, most carriers have applied and have been granted waivers for the small deductible cap... Read More
Insurance Commissioner Power -- Activate!
We spent the weekend being cagey with our children about our whereabouts (Orlando) and hanging out with state regulators and other insurance nerds at the spring meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. While it wasn't the most exciting meeting we've ever been to, it did have its high points. NAHU was asked to present its views on the past year's health insurance exchange open-enrollment process during a public hearing held as part of the Health Insurance and Managed Care (B) Committee meeting. The insurance commissioners were very understanding of our concerns and supportive of our recommendations. Multiple commissioners, as well as both of the carrier organizations that testified -- AHIP and BCBSA -- made a point of noting how integral they feel agents and brokers are to eventual exchange success... Read More
Sun Life Hosts Summit Focused on Private Health Exchanges
Sun Life Financial will host its second Wake Up Summit on April 16, featuring renowned healthcare experts discussing one of the elements gaining momentum due to rising healthcare costs and PPACA: private health insurance exchanges. The Summit will provide valuable information to insurance brokers, HR professionals and employers as the healthcare landscape continues to change... Read More
What We're Reading

Open enrollment is technically over and it is Friday, so pour yourself a drink (we suggest a nice Malbec, but whatever floats your boat) and enjoy these reads...  Read More

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