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Employers with 15 or more employees whose wellness program include biometric testing or health risk assessments (HRAs) may need to reconsider their wellness incentives, as changes to the rules governing either of these wellness plan features go into effect January 1, 2019. 

Monday, 16 July 2018 12:54

Association Health Plans? Yes, No, Maybe

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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. 

Friday, 06 July 2018 12:32

Be Aware of the New York Hospital Surcharge

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If you have a self-funded or partially self-funded plan (including all “Level Funding” plans), you need to know about New York State’s Health Care Reform Act (HCRA) of 1996, even if you don’t have employees in New York. The HCRA, which still applies today, was created to generate funding for a wide variety of health care initiatives in the state, and requires providers of health care services and Third Party Administrators (TPAs) to participate in that funding. In 1997, the State created the New York Public Goods Pool to collect funds for those initiatives and for indigent care in the state. 

The Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee is due July 31, 2018 for employers with any type of self-funded plan and/or a Health Reimbursement Arrangement. The fee helps fund unbiased research that evaluates the clinical effectiveness of medical treatments regardless of the profit potential. This fee is also known as the Comparative Effectiveness Research Fee, or CERF.

When consumers need to access emergency health care services, they usually do not have the time nor presence of mind to determine whether a provider treating them is in-network or not. When those emergencies expose them to out-of-network providers, the provider or facility may “balance bill” the consumer for amounts beyond what the insurer paid. This out-of-network balance billing can create financial burdens and undermine the consumer’s confidence that health insurance will protect them from financial hardship.

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