This isn’t your typical company blog. We aren’t here to just tell you about all the great things we are doing or push the latest press release. Our goal is to provide you with current benefit news, educational material, and hopefully some fun stuff to read.
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Research shows that Americans spent more than $750 upfront for prescription medications in 2012. A survey of both insured and uninsured individuals who regularly took prescription medications showed that the average person spent more than $1,200 out of pocket in the span of one year. After analyzing the results of their study, researchers agreed that the best way for people to save money today is to shop around. Their team of secret shoppers contacted over 200 different pharmacies in the United States to inquire about prices for monthly...read more
Recent research shows that only 40 percent of workers in the United States would highly recommend their employers’ workplaces as good locations for employment. In addition to this, the study showed that those who did recommend their employers were more likely to be satisfied with the workplace benefits offered to them. The study also found that 60 percent of workers who recommended their places of employment said that benefits were important reasons why they continued working for the same employers. More than 50 percent of...read more
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services released a revised version of the I-9 form for general use. Every employer must complete a Form I-9 when they hire new employees. Some recent improvements to the form include a reformatted structure to minimize errors, clearer instructions and new fields. Some of the new fields include spaces for email addresses and employees’ foreign passport information. With the new and improved instructions, employees and employers will be able to better understand exactly what information should be...read more
Fake health plans are appearing more often. The people behind these scams are taking advantage of millions of Americans who do not have and cannot afford regular health insurance. When these bogus plan creators refuse to compensate for the procedures they are supposed to cover, policyholders end up paying for both their medical bills and needless premiums for fake coverage. There are many criminals exploiting the confusion about health care reform. In some cases, people selling these plans are saying they work for the government. Many...read more
The HHS ruled to establish the future of insurance issuer standards and health insurance exchanges for actuarial value and essential health benefits under the PPACA. The final rule creates a plan for when federal facilitated exchanges should accredit qualified health plans. When the PPACA goes into full effect, insurance plans that were not grandfathered into the small and individual market must provide coverage of services or benefits in 10 categories. They must also show the scope of benefits a typical employer plan covers. Qualified...read more
In 1996, Congress passed the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, which is commonly referred to as HIPAA. This act outlines who has lawful access to a person’s health records. Under the act, a person has a guaranteed provision to his or her own health information. However, it does set limits on the release and use of medical data. It also outlines several privacy standards for healthcare professionals. Every person has the right to know how his or her digital data is stored and used. Before they share or release any...read more
The dust has finally settled – for the moment. And Congress has stabilized the estate tax situation, which has been in a state of uncertainty since the so-called “Bush Tax Cuts” formally expired in 2010. The deal is this: The worst-case scenario in which all estates north of $1 million would have been hit with a confiscatory 55 percent tax on the excess was averted. That’s great news for anyone with a good sized home, a small business or family farm and/or a decent-sized retirement fund. Instead, lawmakers came...read more
As there was no last-minute agreement between Congress and the White House to postpone federal budget cuts scheduled to take effect March 1, the ax now falls. Unless a bipartisan effort somehow undoes them, assorted federal government agencies will have their budgets reduced by $85 billion between now and October 1, as the initial step in a planned $1.2 trillion deficit trimming over the next ten years. (The belt-tightening could have been more severe: without January’s fiscal cliff deal, it would have been $109...read more
Slightly more than half (54%) of Americans received some form of dental insurance coverage in 2002, according to a recent report from the National Association of Dental Plans (NADP). Cost increases for 2002 and 2003 once again outpaced inflation. Expect this trend to continue as dental costs are projected to rise another 5% in 2004, according to HR consulting firm Towers Perrin. In an effort to control costs, employers have continued to shift away from traditional indemnity and HMO dental plans as they search for more affordable ways...read more
With the advent of the year 2013, the Medicare funding system is affected by two major pieces of legislation: The Patient Protection and the Affordable Care Act, part of which took effect as of January 1; and the Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed on January 2nd, 2013. This was the tax deal that Congress struck to avoid the so-called ‘fiscal cliff’ – at least temporarily. The two laws mean a number of changes to Medicare – none of them good from the taxpayers’ perspective The major changes are as...read more