For the Third Time DOL & IRS say an Employer Can NOT reimburse employees for individual health insurance plans

Today the U.S. Department of Labor released yet another notice/guidance/ "FAQ" instructing employers that "an employer health care arrangement cannot be integrated with individual market policies to satisfy the market reforms."  Obstinate vendors continue to push their high cost TPA services and claim that an employer can cancel a [...]

Vivity: the new hope for health care

Right before my eyes I saw the top executives from the top hospitals with the top executive from the top insurance company pledge to offer high quality medical care at lower cost. They described how they have aligned incentives for everyone to provide top patient care. If they can do that cost-effectively, they will share in the savings. If not, they will collectively share in the loss...This is a game-changer for health insurance.

Group Health Insurance vs Individual Coverage: Compare After-Tax Cost, Provider Networks & Plan Benefits

Perhaps a company could give employees a salary bonus or "taxable discretionary wellness stipend" so that employees can buy their own individual medical coverage. If you’re considering a salary bonus or "wellness stipend" for employees to purchase their own individual medical insurance you should consider the following...Tax and worker’s comp savings are THE major reasons that companies sponsor group health insurance plans rather than offering a taxable stipend or salary bonus...A salary bonus or taxable wellness stipend for health insurance is extremely tax inefficient and forces employees to purchase inferior health insurance plans in the individual market.

Should a company reimburse employees’ INDIVIDUAL health insurance cost rather than sponsor a GROUP medical plan?

With the high cost of health insurance many companies are considering alternative financing arrangements to group health plans.   The Affordable Care Act (i.e., ACA, Obama Care, Health Care Reform) created exchanges to help individuals purchase their own coverage.  Also, the ACA forbids insurance companies from asking questions about preexisting [...]

Newly Signed Law, SB 1446, Will Allow California Small Businesses to Keep their 2013 Medical Insurance Plan until December 2015

On July 7, 2014 Governor Brown signed SB 1446 into law. This legislation will have a significant impact on the health insurance options for many small businesses in California.   Estimates are that up to 80 percent of small businesses in California “early renewed” their group health insurance plan in [...]

Health Care Reform for Small Businesses California – Video

With Health Care Reform (Affordable Care Act) (ACA), business owners want to know: •What's going to change? •How much will it cost? and, •What can I do to save money. We've created a short video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcQ5j8mu_Bk that addresses these questions. The video also describes what will not change, including: •No requirement for small businesses to offer benefits; •Benefits continue to be a tax deductible expense for the employer and non-taxable compensation to employees; •Benefits continue to be an excellent way to attract and retain good employees.

Covered California – Agent Training & Enrollment Website

Covered California, the new health insurance exchange in California has begun agent training. Kudos to them because they have accomplished a lot in a very short period of time. With this blog post I hope to give some first hand info and feed back on the training process and on the enrollment procedures and processes.

Understanding California Health Care Reform / Obamacare / Affordable Care Act / ACA

We've prepared easy-to-understand videos that explain the new health care reform law (Affordable Care Ace, ACA, Obama Care). Topics include how to complete the required notices (Exchange, SBC & Glossary); an overview of individual and family coverage including Covered California; and problems of the current system that the ACA solves.

Covered California Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange Rates

Given the rates SHOP released and the new rules for rating individual and small group health insurance, I am led to the conclusion that some small groups (and individuals) will likely pay much more than they currently do - while some may pay less.

Covered California (Exchange) Announces a Few Individual Rates

Today, May 23, 2013, the California Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, released the 2014 individual health plan rates for 25 and 40 year olds. As they said in their press release, “it is impossible to make a direct comparison of these rates to existing premiums in the commercial market.” Still, at first glance the rates don’t look too high – but there..