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August 8, 2014

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In This Issue
The IRS Is Awesome
August Recess Is Officially Here
Has the Uninsured Rate in Your State Dropped?
2014 Midterms Are Shaping Up
Upcoming IRS Webinar on the Employer Reporting Requirements
What We’re Reading
Tools
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The IRS Is Awesome
When it comes to federal agencies with good reputations, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) doesn’t usually top the list. However, this week it was the taxman’s turn to shine as a new report from the U.S. Treasury’s inspector general shows that just about the only thing that was working well when the federal health insurance exchange opened up its doors last October was the data link to the IRS. The IRS was able to provide HHS with accurate information about how much an individual made in 2013 and their reported family size. According to the report, the IRS received 101,018 requests for income and family size verification from exchange officials during the first two weeks of open enrollment 2014, and the IRS provided accurate responses in 100,985 of the cases.

“In nearly all instances, the IRS correctly provided accurate information to the health exchanges on income and family sizes," TIGTA Inspector General J. Russell George said in a statement. "Accurate information is essential for an exchange to determine if an applicant is eligible to obtain insurance coverage through the exchange."

So how does this report jive with last week’s GAO report about subsidy inaccuracies?... Read More
August Recess Is Officially Here
August is officially here which means members of Congress are settling back into their home districts for five whole weeks. If you have an appointment with your member of Congress, please let us know before you go by logging your appointment here.

NAHU is working to enhance our grassroots efforts and we are trying some new things for this August. We’ll be monitoring who logs appointments and reaching out to those with meetings to provide customized talking points based on the legislator and type of meeting. NAHU lobbies on behalf of agents and brokers on a daily basis, and chances are we’ve met with your representative or senator here in Washington. We’d love to discuss the relationship and the conversations we’ve already had with you before you go into your meetings, but we can’t do that unless we know when your meetings are... Read More
Has the Uninsured Rate in Your State Dropped?
Now that the first open enrollment season has come and gone, researchers have finally had some time to analyze their study results. Earlier this week, Gallup released a poll reflecting how the rates of the uninsured were affected by this past open enrollment season.

The top 10 states that saw reductions in the rate of the uninsured were all states that chose either the state-based exchange route or operated a partnership exchange with the federal government. All of the states with the biggest gains also decided to expand their Medicaid program. Arkansas and Kentucky saw the largest decrease in their state uninsured populations. Arkansas, with its partnership exchange, took top marks with a decrease of 10.1 percent. Kentucky, the only southern state that opted to run its own exchange, saw a decrease of 8.5 percent, with Delaware, Washington and Colorado trailing closely behind... Read More
2014 Midterms Are Shaping Up
With primary season well underway we are beginning to see a clearer picture of what the 2014 general mid-term election is going to look like.

When former Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) lost his seat in a primary to a tea-party challenger, establishment Republicans and several Democrats across the country started to get a little concerned about the potential implications that election could have had on other Republican primaries. In a heated run-off election we saw Senator Thad Cochran (R-MS) just barely hold onto his seat. After an incredibly tight primary Cochran ultimately defeated tea-party challenger Chris McDaniel.

Earlier this week, Senator Pat Roberts (R-KS) also faced a tough primary. After Cochran, Roberts arguably had the next toughest primary election of any sitting GOP senator. He, similar to Cochran, has been criticized for being out of touch with the state, having been in office for so long. (Roberts first came to Washington in 1981 as a member of the House and then was elected to the Senate in 1997.) The power of incumbency, however, worked in his favor, as Roberts sailed to victory with 48.1% of the vote... Read More
Upcoming IRS Webinar on the Employer Reporting Requirements
The IRS Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division will be hosting an August 14 webinar on how applicable large employers should report employee healthcare coverage under tax code Section 6056.

The webinar will address requirements under Section 6056, including who is required to report and what elements must be reported and when. The webinar also will cover how government entities should designate reporting. Section 6056, added to the tax code by the Affordable Care Act, requires employers to report to the IRS information about their compliance with the ACA’s employer shared-responsibility provisions under tax code, Section 4980H, and about the healthcare coverage they offer employees... Read More
What We’re Reading

We’ve got Walmart, chicken scandals, a reason to stay up late and possibly Chris Christie wearing a bear suit this week. What's not to love?... Read More

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