Blog Entries - 2014

Carrier Corner TN

Posted on: October 1, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

Check out what is new with carriers in TN.

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DEA Makes Official Change For Hydrocodone Combination Products

Posted on: October 1, 2014 2:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) published a Final Rule moving hydrocodone combination products (HCPs), including but not limited to Lortab/Vicodin, Tussionex, Zohydro ER, Norco, Hycodan, Zydone, etc. from Schedule III to Schedule II in the federal register. This rule follows the recommendation by the Assistant Secretary for Health of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and is supported by the DEA’s own evaluation of clinical data.

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Carrier Corner

Posted on: October 1, 2014 2:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

Find out what is new with different carriers.

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2015 HSA & HDHP Limits

Posted on: October 1, 2014 2:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

The IRS has announced the 2015 contribution limits, deductible minimums and out-of-pocket maximums for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).

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IRS Eases Access To Subsidized Marketplace Plans

Posted on: October 1, 2014 1:50 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

The IRS has released new guidance that allows employees participating in non-calendar year group health plans (other than a health Flexible Spending Account) through a cafeteria plan to drop coverage mid-year and enroll in a Health Insurance Marketplace plan during the Marketplace open enrollment period.

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Medicare Part D Notice Due October 15

Posted on: October 1, 2014 1:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

Employers whose health care plans include prescription drug benefits must notify Medicare-eligible employees by October 15 of each year whether their drug benefit is “creditable coverage,” meaning that it is expected to cover, on average, as much as the standard Medicare Part D prescription drug plan. Medicare Part D, which became effective in 2006, is a federal program to subsidize the cost of private prescription drug plans.

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New Maximum Individual Mandate Penalty

Posted on: October 1, 2014 1:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

For tax year 2014, the IRS has set the individual mandate penalty at the greater of either $95 per uninsured individual capped at 300% of the flat dollar amount for a family or one percent of income.

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Average ACA Premium Increase Will Be 8.2 Percent in 2015

Posted on: October 1, 2014 1:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

The Huffington Post reported that according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which has conducted the most thorough review to date, the average increase for ACA plans “will be 8.2 percent next year in 29 states and the District of Columbia where data about health insurance premiums for 2015 are available.”

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October Is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Posted on: October 1, 2014 1:00 pm
Tags: October 2014, Benefits connection

Early detection is one of the best defenses against breast cancer. Annual screenings, self-checks, and knowing some of the symptoms can help you stay ahead of breast cancer or catch it early.

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2015 HSA & HDHP Limits

Posted on: June 18, 2014 9:00 am
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

The IRS has announced the 2015 contribution limits, deductible minimums and out-of-pocket maximums for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).

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IRS Releases Revised Form 720 - PCOR Fees

Posted on: June 18, 2014 9:00 am
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

The IRS has issued a revised Form 720 and instructions for filing the PCOR (Patient-Centers Outcomes Research) fees by July 31, 2014. Filers will enter covered-lives counts and applicable rates ($1 for plans years ending on or after October 1, 2013) in Part II of Form 720 (line 133) to calculate the amount owed.

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21 Simple Tips For Better Health

Posted on: June 18, 2014 9:00 am
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

For those of us who sit down at a desk most of the day, health and well-being aren't always easy to work into our lifestyles. Still, the facts show that we must be proactive about eating well and moving enough during the day in order to avoid weight gain, stress and flagging fitness.

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Carrier Corner: TN

Posted on: June 18, 2014 9:00 am
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

Find out what is happening with carriers in TN.

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Carrier Corner: KY, IN and OH

Posted on: June 18, 2014 9:00 am
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

Find out what is happening with the carriers in KY, OH and IN.

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What Is The Transitional (Grandmothered) Policy?

Posted on: June 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

In November 2013, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a letter to State Insurance Commissioners outlining transitional relief for non-grandfathered health insurance coverage in the individual and small group markets (“Transitional Policy”). The small group market for the Transitional Policy is defined as small employers with fewer than 51 total employees.

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FSA Carryover

Posted on: June 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

On March 28, 2014, the IRS released a memorandum clarifying that a member is disqualified from making contributions to a Health Savings Account (HSA) for the entire year solely as a result of carryover of unused amounts in an Flexible Spending Account (FSA) from the previous year, even if the FSA no longer has available funds.

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What ACA Means For COBRA

Posted on: June 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

In a release dated May 2, 2014, the Department of Labor announced updates to model notices informing workers of their eligibility to continue health care coverage through COBRA.

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Self-funded Plans Required To Obtain Health Plan Identifier (HPID)

Posted on: June 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

The Affordable Care Act included a provision called Administrative Simplification, which broadens existing requirements under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 1996. Administrative Simplification sets standards and operating rules for how insurance issuers and other covered entities interact with providers, particularly regarding electronic transactions of information.  The goal of these requirements is to ultimately reduce costs by streamlining transactions and making existing standards work more efficiently.

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New Law Repeals Health Care Reform's Annual Deductible Cap

Posted on: June 17, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: June 2014, Benefits connection

Congress has passed, and the President has signed, the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 to postpone changes to the formula used to determine the amounts Medicare pays physicians for services.

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Pediatric Vision & Dental Coverage

Posted on: April 24, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

Pediatric Dental & Vision benefits for small employer groups (2-50) vary between different insurance carriers. In some cases, the benefits even vary between plans within the same carrier. Below is an overview of coverage per carrier.

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Final Notices On 2015 Benefit And Payment Parameters

Posted on: April 24, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

This article discusses the open enrollment, cost sharing limits, reinsurance assessment fee, federal marketplace user fee, and the Small Business Health Options Program for 2015.

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90-Day Waiting Period Limitation

Posted on: April 24, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

The U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services have announced the publication of final regulations implementing a 90-day limit on waiting periods for health coverage.

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Allergy Season Is Upon Us

Posted on: April 24, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

Spring is a beautiful time of year, but for allergy sufferers it’s not a time to “stop and smell the roses.”

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Carrier Corner- KY & OH

Posted on: April 24, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

This article discusses what is new with carriers in Kentucky and Ohio.

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Carrier Corner- TN

Posted on: April 24, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

This article discusses what is new with carriers in Tennessee.

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Information Reporting For Employers And Insurers

Posted on: April 24, 2014 2:00 pm
Tags: April 2014, Benefits connection

In March, the Department of Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released final rules on two provisions: reporting health insurance coverage by large employers, and reporting minimum essential coverage by insurers and employers of self-insured plans.

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Need Help Signing Up For Individual Health Insurance? SHERRILL MORGAN Can Help

Posted on: March 7, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: March 2014, Benefits connection

The April 1st deadline to avoid paying a penalty by being covered by a qualified health plan is quickly approaching. Many people are still struggling, not only to register on the exchange websites, but also with the complexity of the decision making process.

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Carrier Corner-KY & OH

Posted on: March 7, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: March 2014, Benefits connection

This article discusses what is new with carriers in Kentucky and Ohio.

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Carrier Corner-TN

Posted on: March 7, 2014 4:00 pm
Tags: March 2014, Benefits connection

This article discusses what is new with carriers in Tennessee.

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The Dirty Dozen vs. The Clean Fifteen

Posted on: March 7, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: March 2014, Benefits connection

Many consumers have become interested in buying organic produce in an attempt to reduce their amount of pesticide exposure. But buying organic can be expensive.

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Employer Mandate Final Regulations Issued

Posted on: March 6, 2014 3:00 pm
Tags: March 2014, Benefits connection

Employers with 50 to 99 full-time employees will not face penalties for not offering coverage to full-time employees and their dependents up to age 26 until the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2016.

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