Source: Beth Kutscher, Modern Healthcare, Vol. 43 no. 48, December 2, 2013
Experts say states’ healthcare reform choices could make a big financial and patient-care difference for hospitals across the country, which could lead to a big divide in hospital financial health and healthcare access, producing two different U.S. healthcare systems.
Source: Sharon M. Goodman, Benefits Magazine, Vol. 50 no. 11, November 2013
With a new plan year fast approaching, this article reviews significant health care reform provisions that take effect in 2014.
Source: Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 68 no. 5, November 2013
Transparency tools are poised to change health care. This article will review the basics and share “lessons learned” from recent implementations.
Source: Frank Giancola, Employee Benefit Plan Review, Vol. 68 no. 5, November 2013
In recent years, employers have been permitted by law to offer benefit plans that allow employees to be reimbursed for health care expenses from an account funded by tax advantaged contributions from the employer and employee. The two most common are Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs). HRAs are often offered along with health care plans with high deductibles, whereas HSAs are required by law to be offerend with them. … HSAs and HRAs are likely to be confused because both reimburse employees for medical expanses, are tax advantaged, and have similar acronyms. The following table highlights their features and prevalence so that HR professionals know the basic differences between the two and can better understand how they are used with high-deductible health care plans. …
Source: Frank C. Morris, Jr. and Susan Gross Sholinsky, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 39 no. 3, Winter 2013
From the abstract:
The authors of this article discuss recent changes to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s guidance on cancer, diabetes, epilepsy, and intellectual disabilities, explain the American Psychiatric Association’s update pertaining to mental disorders, and describe the American Medical Association’s recognition of obesity as a disability.
Source: Catherine Livingston and Rick Bergstrom, Employee Relations Law Journal, Vol. 39 no. 3, Winter 2013
From the abstract:
Employers who want to incorporate financial incentives into their wellness programs need to navigate a variety of federal and state laws barring discrimination that are implicated by wellness programs. Regulations recently issued by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury have clarified how some of these restrictions operate following enactment of the Affordable Care Act, but they leave unanswered significant questions regarding the application of other laws, such as the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act. The authors of this article address these questions.
Source: Howard D. Bye-Torre, Practical Law The Journal, Vol. 5 no. 8, October 2013
An expert Q&A with Howard Bye-Torre of Stoel Rives LLP on the implications of the US Supreme Court’s decision in United States v. Windsor and subsequent guidance for employers who sponsor retirement and health plans for their employees and family members.
Source: Families USA, 2013
The new marketplaces are now open for consumers to begin applying for health insurance. This support center provides information about state enrollment assistance programs and resources to help provide consumers with the information they need to get enrolled. Consumers can use the “Find Local Help” tool to find out how to get enrollment assistance in their state. Apply to become a Champion for Coverage, if your organization is interested in joining more than 900 organizations nationwide to help Americans without affordable insurance learn how to get coverage through the marketplace. …
Source: Dee Mahan, Amy Traver, Families USA, Issue Brief, November 2013
Alternative Benefit Plans offer states a great deal of flexibility, as well as an opportunity to provide people in the expansion population with comprehensive coverage that meets their health care needs. This brief looks at the issues that states should consider as they design a benefit plan for people who will be newly eligible
for Medicaid. It also outlines opportunities where consumer advocates can engage in the process, both during the initial benefit design
and when making improvements to the plan….
Source: Soeren Mattke, Hangsheng Liu, John Caloyeras, Christina Y. Huang, Kristin R. Van Busum, Dmitry Khodyakov, Victoria Shier, RAND, Research Reports, RR-254, 2013
From the abstract:
The report investigates the characteristics of workplace wellness programs, their prevalence, their impact on employee health and medical cost, facilitators of their success, and the role of incentives in such programs. The authors employ four data collection and analysis streams: a review of the scientific and trade literature, a national survey of employers, a longitudinal analysis of medical claims and wellness program data from a sample of employers, and five case studies of existing wellness programs in a diverse set of employers to gauge the effectiveness of wellness programs and employees’ and employers’ experiences.
The Skinny on Workplace Wellness Programs
Source: Soeren Mattke, Hangsheng Liu, John Caloyeras, Christina Y. Huang, Kristin R. Van Busum, Dmitry Khodyakov, Victoria Shier, RAND, Research Briefs, RB-9717, 2013