Benefits Buzz

Maximizing Employee Benefits

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 Employee Benefits: Essential But Unruly

Employers and employees both know the critical role that the workplace plays in offering a better quality of life through a robust benefits package.

2013 National Health Observances At-A-Glance

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Keep your wellness programs updated and your employees interested with this list of popular health observances for 2013.

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Proposed Reinsurance Fees Will Cost Group Health Plans

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The Affordable Care Act (ACA) established three risk-spreading programs to provide payments to health insurance issuers that cover higher-risk populations and to more evenly spread the financial risk carried by issuers. These programs, which will be effective in 2014, are a transitional reinsurance program, a temporary risk corridor program and a permanent risk adjustment program.

Election to Have Significant Impact on Agent Issues

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Election to Have Significant Impact on Agent Issues

What are the consequences for health care, taxes and insurance regulation?

The 2012 elections have come and gone, and while there will be many new faces in the 113th Congress next year, there is no shift in the balance of power between the two parties in either the White House or Congress.

Planning Deadline Extended on Health Insurance Exchanges

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Planning Deadline Extended on Health Insurance Exchanges

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires each state to have a health insurance exchange (Exchange) to provide a competitive marketplace where individuals and small businesses will be able to purchase private health insurance coverage. The Exchanges are scheduled to be operational by Jan. 1, 2014, with enrollment expected to begin on Oct. 1, 2013.
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Temporary Guidance Issued on 90-day Waiting Period Limit

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New temporary guidance has been released regarding the 90-day maximum waiting period mandated by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA stipulates that for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014, group health plans and group health insurance issuers may not apply any waiting period that exceeds 90 days.

Is Your Business Prepared for Healthcare Reform?

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With the Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act, is your business prepared for healthcare reform?

CFR can help you navigate and implement the changes.

Younger Workers Would Swap Pay for Benefits, Survey Says

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Essential Health Benefits: What You Need to Know

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April is Alcohol Awareness Month

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Prepare for a Potential HIPAA Inspection

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In November 2011, the Office for Civil Rights began conducting HIPAA compliance audits. With fines for non-compliance often topping $1 million, it's vital that your company is prepared:

Ensure all your HIPAA-related policies and procedures are updated and compliant. Also think about other documentation an auditor may request, so that you can prepare it now.

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Resources for Employee Wellness Programs

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Did you know March 5-11 is National Sleep Awareness Week?  Better sleep creates happier, healthier, more productive individuals.

We help our clients develop wellness programs with customizable employee communications like our Live Well, Work Well newsletter, which highlights topics like Simple Steps to Improve Sleep - available in English or Spanish.

Final Guidance on Summary of Benefits and Coverage

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On Feb. 9, 2012, the Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury (Departments) released much-anticipated final guidance on the requirement for health plans and health insurance issuers to provide a summary of benefits and coverageto applicants and enrollees.

Issues New and Updated Guidance on W-2 Health Coverage Reporting

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The IRS has issued Notice 2012-9, providing updated and new guidance on the reporting of employer-provided health plan coverage on Forms W-2, as required by the health reform law ("PPACA"). The new notice supersedes the March 2011 Notice 2011-28 (see Client Action Bulletin 11-03) and applies to taxable years beginning in 2012 (i.e., the W-2s employers generally furnish to employees by the end of January 2013).

2012 National Health Observances At-A-Glance

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Keep your wellness programs fresh and your employees engaged with this summary of all popular health observances for 2012.

 

HHS Final Rule on Controlling Premium Increases

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On May 19, 2011, The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a final regulation aimed at controlling large health insurance premium increases.

Employee Benefit Plan Audits: Common Mistakes

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Employee benefit and retirement plans are required to comply with a number of complex laws and regulations, and failure to do so can result in significant penalties.

Benefit Trends in 2011

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As your company has likely experienced, health care costs were expected to rise between 5 and 11 percent in 2011, according to several reputable surveys and research groups.

Several causes were cited, including the slow economic recovery and increased health care utilization; the most notable factor was the cost to implement various health care reform provisions.

Faced with this cost increase and the expectation of continued rising costs, employers shared in these surveys various strategies they were utilizing or considering to control health care costs.