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Final ACA Wellness Rules Issued

From the National Business Coalition on Health: On May 29, 2013, HHS and the Department of Labor and the Department of Treasury published the long awaited final rule of requirements for workplace wellness programs, allowing employers to require healthy efforts from employees to qualify for lower premiums.  The final regulations, consistent with the Affordable Care Act, focus on nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage. Specifically, these final regulations... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, May 31, 2013

Limiting Tax Exclusion for Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Still Being Discussed

From the National Business Coalition on Health: Capping the tax exemption for employer-sponsored health coverage would raise hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade, according to new analysis by the Urban Institute .  As the single largest tax expenditure, the employer-sponsored insurance exclusion massively reduces the tax revenues the government collects each year — by a total of $268 billion in 2011. Placing a cap on the exemption that allows the top 25 percent of the... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, May 25, 2013

Projected Tax Revenues from "Cadillac Tax" Drop

From the National Business Coalition on Health: According to a new Congressional Budget Office report , revenues expected to be generated by the ACA's excise tax on high-cost employer-sponsored plans (the "Cadillac Tax") have dropped from $137 billion to $80 billion.  Largely because of this drop-off in projected tax revenues, the estimated cost of implementing the law through 2023 rose by $40 billion to $1.36 trillion, the budget office said.  The law imposes the “Cadillac... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, May 25, 2013

Be Aware of Potential Legal Challenges to Wellness Programs

According to Human Resource Executive , the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has not yet decided what the term "voluntary" means for employee wellness programs but companies should still implement plans and reduce their risk of violating discrimination laws, experts said.   They suggested including wellness as part of a company benefits program, making sure employees know programs are voluntary, taking steps to avoid discrimination against employees with disabilities or based on... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, May 25, 2013

Why Do the Hospital Charges Released by Medicare Matter?

Last week the healthcare world was a buzz about the hospital charges released by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) that showed significant variation in charges not only across the country but within communities themselves. This variation plays out right here in Memphis, as pointed out in the Commercial Appeal editorial .  In a blog post on , John Branston recognizes that although these are the hospital charges, Medicare does not pay these charges... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, May 17, 2013

MBGH Co-Sponsoring Chef Dana Herbert Healthy Cooking Demo

Join us on June 24, 2013, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm at Hope Presbyterian Church for a fun evening with Chef Dana Herbert learning that you can cook a low-carb, full-flavor dish at home! And, a healthy dinner will be served for those that attend. Chef Dana, also known as "The Sugar Daddy", is best known for his big win on TLC's Cake Boss and as a member of the James Beard Celebrity Chef Tour.  So what's a pastry chef doing leading a cooking demo about low-carb, diabetic friendly food?... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, May 14, 2013

DOL Publishes Model Employer Exchange Notification Documents

From the National Business Coalition on Health: ACA section 1513 amends the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require that employers provide each employee with a written notice providing the employee with information about the exchange in their state and how to request assistance, describing the availability of a premium tax credit (if applicable) and outlining the implications for the employee if they choose to purchase a qualified health plan through an exchange.  This requirement... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, May 10, 2013

MBGH Awarded $100,000 Grant to Expand and Support CEO Culture of Health Initiative

Memphis Business Group on Health Awarded $100,000 Community Health Grant from Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and United Health Foundation A program through the National Business Coalition on Health, will continue efforts to engage and support public and private employers in creating a culture of health WASHINGTON and MEMPHIS, TN – MAY 9, 2013 – Memphis Business Group on Health (MBGH) has been awarded a grant of $100,000 in total from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, May 9, 2013

Three Memphis-area Hospitals Score an "A" Again on Latest Hospital Safety Score

When it comes to patient safety, all hospitals and U.S. states aren’t created equal, according to the newly updated Hospital Safety Score. The Spring 2013 update to the Hospital Safety Score that assigns “A,” “B,” “C,” “D” or “F” grades to more than 2,500 general hospitals in the United States showed hospitals have made only incremental progress in addressing errors, accidents, injuries and infections that kill or hurt their patients. The Hospital Safety Score methodology is fully... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, May 9, 2013

BlueCross & Cigna Set to Offer Plans on TN Health Insurance Exchange

BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee and Cigna met the May 3, 2013 deadline to file to offer plans on Tennessee's federally run health insurance exchange. Cigna is participating in 5 exchanges nationally, 4 of which are federally run. BlueCross BlueShield indicates it will offer traditional plans, including a PPO and a HSA plan, as well as other unique plan designs. They also indicate they will offer the "E" plan, a new, narrow network plan which will be market specific. For example, Erlanger... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, May 9, 2013

Feds Announce Broker/Agent Roles in Health Insurance Exchanges

From the National Business Coalition on Health:  Agents and brokers intending to work with consumers in federally-facilitated (the type TN will have) and state partnership exchanges will be able to assist consumers in two ways: (a) an issuer-based pathway, through which an agent or broker uses an issuer’s website to assist the consumer; or (b) an exchange pathway, through which an agent or broker assists the consumer using the exchange website. In states where a federally-facilitated or... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, May 9, 2013

Survey Shows Disconnect Between Employees & Employers on Health Insurance

From the National Business Coalition on Health: Fifty-four percent of U.S. workers prefer not to have more control over health insurance options because making such decisions is daunting, a survey says.   The third annual Aflac WorkForces Report -- an online survey of nearly 1,900 benefits decision-makers and more than 5,200 U.S. workers -- was conducted in January by Research Now and released by Aflac, a provider of supplemental and guaranteed-renewable insurance in the United... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, May 2, 2013

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