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June 13, 2014

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In This Issue
Consumers See Agents as Best Enrollment Resource
HHS Announcements Keep on Coming
Why Eric Cantor’s Loss Will Have Broader Implications for Health Reform Fixes
Hearings on the Hill
Next Week in Washington
Compliance Corner Webinar - Thursday, June 19
What We’re Reading
Tools
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Consumers See Agents as Best Enrollment Resource
We have always known agents are awesome, and we are glad the rest of the country finally seems to be catching on. A study released this week, which was funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and published by the Urban Institute, a Washington DC-based and generally pro-Affordable Care Act (ACA) think tank, found that 84% of consumers surveyed thought that their health insurance agent or broker was the most valuable resource during open enrollment. Agents and brokers were the clear leader in sources of credible ACA assistance, beating out navigators, other assisters and the call center, which generated the worst marks. It is important to note that the survey results only cover October 1, 2013, when the exchanges opened, through the end of March; it does not account for the assistance agents and brokers provided to consumers during the extended open enrollment period... Read More
HHS Announcements Keep on Coming
States had until June 1 to tell the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) whether or not they wanted to implement the employee choice program in their Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) exchanges in 2015. The employee choice in the SHOP would provide employers the opportunity to allow employees to choose any health plan at the actuarial value, or “metal” level, selected by the employer. Eighteen states submitted proposals to delay employee choice within the SHOP until 2016 and HHS granted all 18 proposals... Read More
Why Eric Cantor’s Loss Will Have Broader Implications for Health Reform Fixes
On Tuesday evening, minds were blown in Washington, DC, and the Richmond, VA, suburbs when House Majority Leader Eric Cantor lost his Republican primary race to a virtually unknown challenger from the right, college Professor David Brat. Cantor on Wednesday announced that he will complete his term in Congress, but will step down as majority leader effective July 31. Many have speculated why Cantor lost and point to the rise of the tea party’s influence within the GOP. We personally think the stunning loss had more to do with the fact that Cantor was in a DC meeting with lobbyists (including NAHU’s own John Greene) about other congressional races on the morning of his defeat, rather than knocking on doors... Read More
Hearings on the Hill
Despite the shock wave that hit Capitol Hill this week as news of Eric Cantor losing his primary battle and stepping down as majority leader broke, the hearings on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) continued as usual. The House Ways and Means Subcommittee on Oversight held a hearing earlier this week on the challenges associated with verifying income and insurance information given the delay of the reporting requirements under PPACA. Douglas Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, Ryan Ellis, tax policy director of the Americans for Tax Reform and IRS registered tax return preparer, Katie W. Mahoney, executive director of Health Policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Bryan C. Skarlatos, partner of Kostelanetz & Fink, LLP and Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA all testified before the committee... Read More
Next Week in Washington
Next week, the main thing going on in Washington, DC, will be on Thursday, July 19, when the House Republican Conference will hold leadership elections to replace outgoing Majority Leader Eric Cantor. Rules Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R-TX) last night issued a statement saying that he was ending his run for majority leader, a move that left Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) as the lone candidate in the race for less than 24 hours. Just this afternoon, Idaho Congressman Raul Labrador announced that he intends to go against McCarthy... Read More
Compliance Corner Webinar - Thursday, June 19
Join Karen Kirkpatrick, senior compliance advisor at Infinisource, Inc., for a one-hour webinar this Thursday, June 19, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern titled, “Understanding Section 125 Qualifying Events, HIPAA Special Enrollment Rights and Marketplace Special Enrollment Periods.” With the recent rollout of the health insurance marketplaces, this discussion gets even more complicated when considering the new special enrollment periods... Read More
What We’re Reading

We’ve got cost data, fundraiser fun facts and dancing dads for you this week. Enjoy!... Read More

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