What is an HRA and How It May See A Major Change Soon..

Before we get into how rules for HRAs may be changing, we should discuss what an HRA is and how it works. A Health Reimbursement Account (sometimes referred to a Health Reimbursement Arrangement) is an employer-funded group health plan that reimburses employees, tax-free, for qualified medical expenses up to a certain amount per year. This type of policy does not replace Medical Insurance and is usually coupled with a High-Deductible policy. Unlike an Health Savings Account (HSA), the Employee can not help to fund the account.  Like HSAs though, there are maximum allowed contributions. In 2018, an Employer can fund an HRA up to $5,050 for a Single Employee and $10,250… Read More

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FAQ Suggests Employers Include Marketplace Options with COBRA Notices

On June 21, 2016, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued the 32nd Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) FAQ describing information that may be appropriate to include with COBRA notices. Many wondered if it were appropriate to provide information and if so, what kind of information could be provided about the Health Insurance Marketplaces/Exchanges (“Marketplaces”) so that COBRA-eligible individuals could consider health coverage alternatives available through the Marketplaces and possibly investigate whether they may be eligible for premium tax credits and cost-sharing reductions. Click the link to download the entire bulletin

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Amerihealth NJ: No Longer Providing COBRA Administration

  AmeriHealth New Jersey has announced that they will no longer provide administrative services for the continuation of coverage under the Consolidated Omnibus Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and Retiree Billing services. AmeriHealth NJ will discontinue COBRA administration and Retiree Billing services in 2016 for customers on the following schedule: For customers renewing January 1 through July 31, COBRA administration services will end on December 31, 2016. For customers renewing August 1 through December 31, services will end on their 2016 renewal date. Approximately 30 days before COBRA administration services end, COBRA members will be notified that their COBRA plan is being transferred to another service provider, and their COBRA eligibility will continue uninterrupted.  … Read More

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IBC: Effective January 1, 2015, HIPAA Certificates of Creditable Coverage are no longer required

On February 24, 2014, the United States Departments of Health and Human Services issued a final rule that addressed the requirement to provide HIPAA Certificates of Creditable Coverage (HIPAA Certificates) under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). As the ACA prohibits pre-existing condition exclusions, the new rule eliminates the requirement to provide HIPAA Certificates beginning December 31, 2014. What does this mean for members?  Previously, when coverage was terminated for a member or his/her dependents, Independence Blue Cross (Independence) issued a HIPAA Certificate. Because the ACA prohibits the application of pre-existing condition exclusions, which applies to both grandfathered and non-grandfathered health plans, these certificates are no longer required. Effective January, 1,… Read More

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Health Reform: 2015 Annual Open Enrollment Period

Annual Open Enrollment & Effective Dates The annual open enrollment period (AEP) for 2015 begins on November 15th 2014 and ends on February 14th 2015. The open enrollment period is the time when you can change, or purchase a new qualified health plan (QHP) on a guaranteed enrollment basis. You do not need a special election period, or a life change event to enroll during the annual open enrollment period. The chart below illustrates the effective dates for enrollments taken during the annual open enrollment period.             Effective Dates for 2015 Annual Open Enrollment Period

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Health Care Reform Updates: Updated Model COBRA Election Notice

    Updated Model COBRA Election Notice Includes Information Regarding Health Insurance Exchanges Revised Notice Informs Individuals of New Coverage Alternatives A revised Model COBRA Election Notice  is now available for group health plans to inform eligible employees and dependents of the right to continuation of coverage under federal law and how to make an election when a qualifying event occurs. The updated model notice includes information regarding coverage alternatives that will be available through the new Health Insurance Exchanges (also known as Marketplaces).   COBRA Election Notice Requirement COBRA (the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act) generally applies to group health plans sponsored by employers with 20 or employees (including both full-… Read More

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