Wednesday, May 28, 2014

COBRA, ACA, and Special Enrollment Rights

With the seemingly endless flow of guidance, updates, notices, and delays swirling about relative to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), a rather important piece of guidance may have been overlooked. Issued jointly by the Department of Labor (DOL) and Health and Human Services (HHS) earlier this month (May 2, 2014), this guidance provides an opportunity for individuals enrolled in COBRA coverage the option to dis-enroll in their COBRA coverage, and enroll in potentially lower cost individual health insurance coverage, FOR A LIMITED TIME.
This week's post addresses this guidance and provides additional information related to the transection of COBRA and the ACA.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

HSA Updates and Advanced Guidance

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the Health Savings Account (HSA) maximum contribution amounts, and qualified high deductible health plan (QHDHP) deductible and out of pocket limits for 2015. Since I have provided basic guidance on “all things HSA” in a previous post, I thought I would provide some advanced HSA guidance in this week's blog, along with the recently announced 2015 IRS maximums.

For 2015, the maximum allowable HSA contributions are:
– INDIVIDUAL Coverage (self only): $3,350
– FAMILY Coverage (self plus 1 or more dependents): $6,650

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

CDHPs Affect on Health Care Spending

Ordinarily, I try to couple a picture with the content of my post, creating a theme of sorts. This week, my selected picture IS the essence of the blog post. The picture is a chart provided by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) showing the slowing of health care spending from 2002 to 2013, by nearly 90%. One of the factors contributing to the slow down in health care spending cited in this post (titled appropriately – Whats Causing Health Care Spending to Slow?) is the growth in popularity and implementation of so called high deductible health plans with accompanying tax preferred spending accounts.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Understanding the Two Separate ACA Delays

French novelist and critic – Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr – famously said – “the more things change, the more they remain the same”. Based on recent news in Nebraska, relative to the roll out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), aka Obamacare, I am going to reverse Mr. Alphonse Karr's famous quote to say – “the more things remain the same, the more they change”! If you're not in Nebraska, keep reading because this weeks blog post addresses the allowance of what now amounts to a nearly three year delay of several key provisions* of the ACA…for some.
Barely more than a month ago, the White House granted a two year extension to the previously announced one year “transition relief”.