California Small Business Medical Insurance 2016 4th Qtr. Renewals

Experts estimate that 50 to 70 percent of the small businesses in California that offer employee medical insurance will renew their plans in December 2016.  Many California small business medical insurance companies have begun to release their renewal rates for December 2016 and for many employers the renewal rates look [...]

Need health insurance outside of the open enrollment period – consider the California Major Risk Plan (MRMIP)

If you didn't sign up for individual health insurance in California during the open enrollment period, you're not stuck.  A little known state program, Major Risk Medical Insurance Plan (MRMIP), may be your saving grace.  While no insurance company will offer you coverage outside of the open enrollment period unless [...]

Do Employers Need to Give Employees IRS Form 1095-C in 2014 for Health Insurance Coverage in 2014?

The good news is that in July, 2013 the IRS issued Notice 2013-45 which gave large employers “transitional relief” from the “shared responsibility” penalties.... Accordingly, neither the reporting requirements nor the employer shared responsibility provisions apply for 2014.

Group Health Insurance Rates Increase for 2015

Last week the Los Angeles Times reported that large employers estimate that the cost of group health insurance will increase about 5% in 2015. I was quoted in the last two paragraphs of the article, talking about the 2015 rate increases for California small businesses. We've seen rates increase from a few percent to twenty percent depending on the characteristics of the employees. While there are winners and losers among California employers; we have been able to change our clients to different insurance companies and different plans so that in most cases they won't have any increase and many of our clients will pay less for group health insurance in 2015 than they did in 2014.

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 [...]

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