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Scott Nitowski

Scott Nitowski

The Trump Administration recently proposed a plan that could potentially cut pricing for pharmaceuticals through Medicare Part B. Attempts to lower these costs is nothing new, and the Obama administration had proposed something similar before he left office, with little success.  

On July 25, 2018, the House of Representatives passed two health care bills, H.R. 6199 and H.R. 6311, that would make significant changes to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). Republicans are pushing to expand HSA usage with a number of Democrats leaning toward supporting these bills as well. Both bills would still need at least 60 votes from the Senate to go into place, which may not be possible before the end of this Congressional session in December.

The expansion of Association Health Plans (AHPs) has arrived. The U.S. Department of Labor announced regulations that will allow these plans to become effective as early as September 2018. AHPs allow small business to band together to purchase health insurance. Continue reading to understand whether these Association Health Plans might be a fit for your organization. 

Reference Based Pricing (RBP) is a cost containment strategy that some larger employers have implemented to help place a cap on the cost of larger medical services.  It’s a savvy strategy that, in the past, has worked best with self-funded large employers but is gaining steam across employers of all sizes.

We all know that attracting and keeping the superior employees in your field is a constant challenge. Employers must stay ahead of the curve and anticipate the needs of the future. We all wish we could predict the future, but until that time comes, here’s a nice summary from Paylocity of the MetLife 2018 Trends Study to help to identify those future trends. Click here to learn what is worrying employees, what they are expecting, and how employees want to be educated surrounding their benefits. 
Tuesday, 16 January 2018 14:06

Individual mandate repealed for 2019

For starters, the individual mandate is still in effect for 2018, meaning that employees may have to pay a sharp tax penalty of 2.5% of their income if they do not have health insurance. Early reports that this is no longer in place are false.

Even after the individual mandate is eliminated in 2019, the individual market, federal subsidies and Medicaid expansion (32 states and the District of Columbia implemented this) will all still be in place, barring further congressional action.

Although there is much speculation about the future of The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the requirements for certain reporting is still the law of the land for now. For all large employers, and small employers that are partially self-funded, the deadline of January 31st to distribute 1095-Bs and 1095-Cs to employees is fast approaching. 
Tuesday, 31 October 2017 06:56

How do Your Benefits Stack Up?

The Kaiser Family Foundation has released their 2017 Annual National Employer Benefits Survey.  This survey compares employer-sponsored health benefits for private and nonfederal employers with three or more workers.  
 
Do you know how your current plans stack up to the competition?  Fall River uses this Kaiser survey and other local data to offer complimentary benchmarking consultations to ensure your specific benefits and contributions are attracting/retaining the top talent in your field. To sign up for a benchmarking session, existing clients can contact their Client Manager, and others can click here to get started.  
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 18:59

HRIS Technology: To Digital Infinity and Beyond

Habits are hard to kick and people are hesitant to change, but it’s no secret that HR functions are leaving the paper-based world and moving digital.  Digital signatures, cloud computing and online benefits platforms are areas we are seeing most HR professionals gravitating towards.  The major reasons we are seeing this transition from manual to digital processes is for increased efficiency, employee engagement, and bottom line cost savings.  
Tuesday, 29 August 2017 11:16

Making Wellness Wearables Work

Employers are constantly looking for ways to create effective, value-driven wellness programs for employees.  Wearables, such as various Fitbits (Charge 2, Blaze and Alta HR) and the Garmin Vivoactive, or watches from Apple or Samsung, have become a common motivational tool for employers who are implementing wellness programs. 

A recent survey conducted by Springbuk found that 35 percent of employers are currently using wearable devices. 
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