Blog Entries - 2016

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Recommendations on Harassment in the Workforce

Posted on: September 26, 2016 9:00 am
Tags: September 2016, October 2016, Benefits connection

Learn about the findings of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission study of harassment at the workplace.

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Final Regulations for Wellness Programs

Posted on: September 26, 2016 9:00 am
Tags: September 2016, October 2016, Benefits connection

Learn about final regulations issued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as they relate to employer wellness programs.

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Carrier Corner

Posted on: September 23, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: September 2016, October 2016, Benefits connection

Learn what is happening with carriers in KY, TN, and OH. 

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Four Fitness Flaws Affecting Oral Health

Posted on: September 23, 2016 3:00 pm
Tags: September 2016, October 2016, Benefits connection

Learn about the flaws associated with bottled water, sports drinks, energy bars, and not using a mouth guard. 

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Department of Labor Increases Penalties for Health Plan Violations

Posted on: September 23, 2016 12:00 pm
Tags: September 2016, October 2016, Benefits connection

On July 1, 2016 the Department of Labor issued an interim final rule that increases the civil penalty amounts that may be imposed under various federal laws. 

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Nondiscrimination In Health Programs And Activities

Posted on: June 7, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: May 2016, June 2016, Benefits connection

The nondiscrimination rule under Section 1557 of the ACA serves protected classes of individuals whose health coverage may not be denied, cancelled, limited, or refused on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. The rule is effective July 18, 2016, but health plans that require changes in benefit design are required to comply on the first day of the plan or policy year beginning on or after January 1, 2017.

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ACA Regulations And Updates

Posted on: June 7, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: May 2016, June 2016, Benefits connection

Network Adequacy Standards

The final rules have adopted several changes related to network adequacy requirements for plans sold on the Marketplace.

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Carrier Corner

Posted on: June 7, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: May 2016, June 2016, Benefits connection

Find out what is happening with carriers in Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee.

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IRS Announces 2017 Limits

Posted on: June 7, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: May 2016, June 2016, Benefits connection

The IRS has announced the 2017 contribution limits, deductible minimums and out-of-pocket maximums for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and high-deductible health plans (HDHPs).

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U.S. Drug Spending Climbs

Posted on: June 7, 2016 3:00 pm
Tags: May 2016, June 2016, Benefits connection

The Wall Street Journal reported that, according to IMS Health research, total spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. rose 12.2% to nearly $425 billion in 2015, fueled by the introduction of expensive new drugs for cancer and infections, as well as price hikes for older drugs.

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New FDA Nutrition Facts Labels

Posted on: June 7, 2016 3:00 pm
Tags: May 2016, June 2016, Benefits connection

The nutrition label on food packaging is about to change. Companies are required to use the new label by July 26, 2018 (manufacturers that make less then $10 million in annual food sales have an extra year).

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Carrier Corner: KY, TN, & OH

Posted on: April 12, 2016 5:00 pm
Tags: March 2016, April 2016, Benefits connection

Learn about what is happening with insurance carriers in KY, TN and OH.

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April Is Autism Awareness Month

Posted on: April 12, 2016 4:50 pm
Tags: March 2016, April 2016, Benefits connection

The aim of this month is to educate the public about autism. Autism is a complex mental condition and developmental disability, characterized by difficulties in the way a person communicates and interacts with other people. Autism can be present from birth or form during early childhood (typically within the first three years). Autism is a lifelong developmental disability with no single known cause.

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Engagement Strategies For Wellness Programs

Posted on: April 12, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: March 2016, April 2016, Benefits connection

Learn more about engagement strategies for wellness programs based on generation information (i.e. Baby Boomers (1946-1964), Generation X (1965-1978), and Generation Y / Millennials (1979-1997)).

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‘Grandmothered’ Plans Receive Extension

Posted on: April 12, 2016 4:00 pm
Tags: March 2016, April 2016, Benefits connection

On February 29th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued the final Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for the 2017 coverage year and the final Letter to Issuers. In the final 2017 Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters, CMS announced that in states where “grandmothered” or “transitional” plans are still allowed, states and issuers will be able to continue to renew them at their option as long as these policies end by December 31, 2017. Previous guidance required these policies to terminate by October 1, 2017.

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Key Regulations In 2017 Benefit Payment And Parameters

Posted on: April 12, 2016 3:00 pm
Tags: March 2016, April 2016, Benefits connection

Learn about 2017 Out-of-Pocket Maximums, Marketplace Enrollment Period, Marketplace Automatic Reenrollment, Standardized Plan Options In The Individual Marketplace, and Changes To Federally Facilitated SHOP Plans.

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Carrier Corner- Tennessee Edition

Posted on: January 18, 2016 2:30 pm
Tags: January 2016, February 2016, Benefits connection

Learn what is happening with insurance carriers in Tennessee.

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‘Cadillac Tax’ Delayed For Two Years

Posted on: January 18, 2016 2:00 pm
Tags: January 2016, February 2016, Benefits connection

On December 18, 2015, Congress passed a two-year delay on the 40 percent excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans, also known as the “Cadillac Tax.” This delay was part of a year-end tax extender and government funding package, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2016, known as the “Omnibus.”

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IRS Extends Information Reporting Due Dates

Posted on: January 18, 2016 2:00 pm
Tags: January 2016, February 2016, Benefits connection

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced extended deadlines for 2015 Minimum Essential Coverage and Large Employer Shared Responsibility reporting required to be completed in early 2016.

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Wellness Program Success

Posted on: January 18, 2016 2:00 pm
Tags: January 2016, February 2016, Benefits connection

Whether you are thinking about implementing a wellness program or have had one up and running for years, you must build both strategy and coordinated efforts to empower employees to take control of their own well-being.

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Carrier Corner

Posted on: January 18, 2016 2:00 pm
Tags: January 2016, February 2016, Benefits connection

Learn what is happening with the insurance carriers in Kentucky and Ohio.

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IRS Releases Notice 2015-87

Posted on: January 18, 2016 1:00 pm
Tags: January 2016, February 2016, Benefits connection

The IRS notice addresses various issues that have arisen under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) with respect to employer-sponsored coverage, focusing particularly on account-based employee benefits such as section 125 cafeteria plans and health reimbursement arrangements, reporting and defining hours of service. In addition, the IRS provided guidance regarding COBRA coverage and Health FSA carryovers.

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