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May 23, 2014

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In This Issue
Broken Record
Their Ears Must Have Been Burning
Final Medicare Advantage Rule Keeps Renewal Commissions At 50 Percent
Income Verification
Another One Bites the Dust
Letters to HHS on Behalf of Brokers
What We’re Reading
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Broken Record
How many times have you dedicated readers seen a version of this next sentence in the Washington Update? Last Friday evening, just as the Washington Update was being published, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a new regulation…Well, oops they did it again. Late in the day Friday, May 16, HHS released the final version of the Exchange and Insurance Market Standards for 2015 and BeyondThis 436-page regulation contains quite a few important changes, clarifications and requirements for agents and brokers, other assisters and states and health insurance issuers for plan years 2015 and beyond. If you are interested in the gory details and do not want to waste a whole ream of paper, we’ve created a handy five-page summary for you. Alternatively, here are the highlights... Read More
Their Ears Must Have Been Burning
On May 16, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued a FAQ further clarifying that it is illegal for an employer to simply pay for individual coverage for its employees in the exchange or in the outside individual market with pre-tax dollars despite those who claim there are loopholes available that make such offerings permissible. The IRS FAQ specifically clarifies that an employer who offers such an arrangement will be subject to an excise tax of $100 per day or $36,500 per year per employee... Read More
Final Medicare Advantage Rule Keeps Renewal Commissions At 50 Percent
On Monday, May 19, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a final rule on Medicare Advantage. The final version of the rule does contain provisions relative to agent and broker compensation, but it does not include the significant cuts initially proposed to broker renewal commissions... Read More
Income Verification
We know this will shock all of you experienced agents and loyal Washington Update readers, but there may be some (ok, more than some, more like hundreds of thousands or more) Americans who are receiving larger health insurance subsidies than they should be. Why is this you ask? Because as the Washington Post and various other media outlets reported this weekend, the technology that was intended to match a consumer’s self-reported income on their enrollment application with that on file with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not been built yet... Read More
Another One Bites the Dust
Add Nevada to the list of states handing its state-based exchange over to the federal government for 2015. Nevada, the only state with a Republican governor to originally opt to run their own exchange, appeared to have a relatively well functioning exchange at the start of open enrollment, but they soon hit a technological wall. Earlier this week, the Nevada Exchange Board voted unanimously to end its agreement with Xerox... Read More
Letters to HHS on Behalf of Brokers
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) officials had two broker-friendly letters hit their mailboxes this week. The first letter was drafted by members of NAHU’s Exchange Coordinator Working Group and Legislative Council on Special Enrollment Periods (SEP). Now that open enrollment is officially closed, those who have not enrolled in health insurance coverage may be out of luck and it may not entirely be their fault... Read More
What We’re Reading
If you need something to keep you busy while you wait for the parade to start or the pool to open, we’ve got you covered!  And remember, always thank a veteran!... Read More
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