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Deadlines and Delays Affecting Employers for Affordable Care Act

It’s no secret that Americans are confused about the Affordable Care Act and what exactly it means. Federal agencies tasked with implementing the 2010 health care reform law include the U.S. Labor Department, Department of Health and Human Services and the Treasury Department. Those agencies are still working at the rules.  Here is some important information about deadlines and delays that are impacting employers: Affordable Care Act Deadlines Summary of Benefits Coverage - Employers have to provide a summary of benefits and coverage during fall open-enrollment materials. This information must notify employees if the coverage offered meets minimum essential coverage and value standards set by the law. Companies that do not have an open-enrollment period, must provide the statement 30 days before the beginning of the plan period. The deadline is the fall open-enrollment period or 30 days before beginning of the plan year. Employee Status – Although the employer mandate has been d ...

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What does Obamacare do for you?

According to information released by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, most of the 47 million people in the U.S. without health insurance coverage were unaware that Obamacare was set to launch prior to the Oct. 1 opening of the online marketplaces. Some blame the size and scale of the legislation for the uncertainty associated with the law, but here are some facts people should know. The legislation was signed in March 2010 and marks the largest overhaul of federal health care benefits and coverage since the implementation of Medicare and Medicaid in 1965. Obamacare will allow people who currently don’t have insurance to get various plans sponsored by the government. Along with offering insurance to those who don’t have it, the legislation also bans insurance companies from denying coverage to a patient who has a pre-existing medical condition. It also requires that insurers justify any raises of more than 10 percent to the health insurance premiums they charge individuals. Those who ...

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Healthcare exchanges receive mixed review from small businesses

It appears that more small businesses have been utilizing the newly-implemented state health insurance exchanges than had been anticipated. Those who have used the system are giving it mixed reviews, several report.  The exchanges that rolled out as a part of the Affordable Care Act opened and began operating on October 1. Some business owners have been very pleased while others have been extremely disappointed. In checks that have been done of exchanges throughout the country, it appears that some companies have opened “Small Business Health Option Programs” also known as SHOP accounts on the state marketplaces, and have utilized that as a resource for their employees regarding the health care legislation and the changes they need to make the be compliant. Federal officials have reminded those who are looking at the numbers that it’s still early in the process, as many of the plans that are eligible for purchase do not take effect until January 1 of 2014. Several states incl ...

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Chamber of Commerce seeks lenience on complying with Obamacare

The Chamber of Commerce is looking to the Obama administration seeking more help and guidance for businesses when it comes to compliance with the various restrictions and requirements associated with the Affordable Care Act. The lobbying group recently announced that the federal government needs to be easier and more understanding when working with companies who are trying to be in compliance with all the restrictions that the law is set forth. Businesses who participate with the Chamber of Commerce have reached out to the group expressing concern with the amount of compliance issues that they are required to meet as well as the amount of time they have to do it in. Additionally, many business owners are still unclear as to what is expected of them and their business. The complexities of the compliance issues are a hot-button item for the Chamber of Commerce. The group believes that it is the responsibility of the administration to help businesses and their employees as much as possible in an effort to ...

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2013 Health Insurance Premium Increases and the Impact on Obamacare

According to a survey of workplace benefits, health insurance premiums increased 5 percent for single coverage and 4 percent for families in 2013. These rate increases are lower than what critics had projected and represent only a modest increase when compared to historical data. Despite the small increase, a poll reflecting public sentiment seems to tell a different story. More than half of individuals polled felt that their insurance premiums had increased more greatly than years passed and nearly 40% felt that the increase was at a rate similar to years past. Drew Altman, President and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, cannot fault the public for their perceptions of the increase. Most working Americans have not seen pay increases in recent years to keep up with inflation and cost of living increases so even a small increase to health insurance premiums seems substantial. Another survey by the Milliman group cites larger increases than the Kaiser study. Milliman used additional data points such a ...

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