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Category: Health Insurance Exchanges

Despite Delay in Excise Tax, Employers Continue to Explore Private Exchanges

From the National Business Coalition on Health: According to a survey of employers conducted by the Private Exchange Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC), 46% have implemented or are continuing to look at private health insurance exchanges to offer health benefits for their covered populations.  Over the last few months PEEC has polled employers for a broad study on their views and intentions related to exchanges. A second shorter study was conducted in January to gauge strategies in light of... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Uninsured Rate Decreases to 9.2% in First Quarter 2015

According to a Dan Mangan September 1, 2015 blog post for CNBC: "In the first three months of 2015, the CDC said, the rate of people without health insurance stood at 9.2 percent. That's down from 11.5 percent in the same period in 2014, and represents a 20 percent reduction in the uninsured rate over the past year.In absolute numbers, 29 million people lacked health insurance in early 2015, compared with 36 million people in 2014. That number reached a high 48.6 million in 2010, the year... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, September 3, 2015

DOL Moves Employer Notification of Health Insurance Exchanges to Summer/Fall 2013

The Department of Labor has concluded that the notice requirement under FLSA section 18B will not take effect on March 1, 2013 for several reasons.  The Department of Labor expects that the timing for distribution of notices will be the late summer or fall of 2013, which will coordinate with the open enrollment period for Exchanges.  Background From the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) posted here : Notice of Coverage Options Available Through the Exchanges... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, January 25, 2013

Tennessee Defers State Health Insurance Exchange to the Feds

From Governor Bill Haslam of Tennessee, posted 12/10/12: Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam announced Monday the state will not operate a state-based healthcare exchange under the federal Affordable Care Act. Haslam made the following statement on the issue:“Tennessee faces a decision this week about health insurance exchanges created by the Affordable Care Act.“I'm not a fan of the law.  The more I know, the more harmful I think it will be for small businesses and costly for state governments... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, December 10, 2012

HHS Releases Proposed Rule for Health Insurance Market Reforms

Helpful links to understand the specifics of this proposed rule: Health Affairs Blog:   comments on the market reform and rate review proposed rules Kaiser Health News:  details how smokers can participate in smoking cessation programs and avoid higher premiums Coverage on all 3 proposed rules... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, November 21, 2012

HHS Releases Proposed Regs: Essential Health Benefits, Actuarial Value, Accreditation Standards

Helpful links to help you understand the specifics of this proposed rule: Health Affairs Blog: Kaiser Health News coverage of all 3 proposed rules: Coverage of all 3 proposed rules from across the nation:  ... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Catch Up on What's Happening with Health Insurance Exchanges

Wonder what's going on with Health Insurance Exchanges, especially in Tennessee? The answer is that a lot has to happen very quickly for exchanges to be ready for open enrollment in the fall of 2013. HHS has extended the deadline for states to indicate their intention to establish a state-sponsored exchange until December 14, 2012. Click here to read Tennessee Governor Haslam's official response to this new deadline. Plus, as you know, employers have obligations to notify their... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, November 3, 2012

Retirees Are Often the First To Purchase Coverage Through Private Exchanges

From the National Business Coalition on Health: Kaiser Health News reports that in the past 20 years, the number of companies that provide retiree health coverage has dropped dramatically, leaving seniors with the difficult task of choosing among a variety of plans to supplement their Medicare benefits. It is a choice that can be confusing and has large financial implications. But a move by some employers is softening the blow. They are contracting with ... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, October 19, 2012

Two Major Employers Embrace Private Health Insurance Exchange

From the National Business Coalition on Health: According to Employee Benefit News, in a move that could herald a sea change in health benefits, Sears Holdings Corp. and Darden Restaurants, Inc will begin allowing employees to purchase health insurance through a private insurance exchange in 2013. Around 90,000 Sears employees and some 45,000 Darden employees will be eligible to purchase insurance through the exchange, which will be operated by Aon Hewitt. Starting Jan. 1, employees at the... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, September 29, 2012

New, More User-Friendly Health Reform Website from American Benefits Council

From the National Business Coalition on Health: The American Benefits Council, an important strategic partner of NBCH, has announced its new, more user-friendly website. The Health Care Reform issue page is now divided into its component pages, covering the wide variety of health reform issues addressed by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). These individual topics are: § Employer Shared Responsibility § Market Reforms & Adult Child/Age-26 Coverage §... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Friday, May 4, 2012

Health Benefits Changes on the Horizon

Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health study finds health benefits changes are on the horizon. Although the rate of health care cost increases is expected to remain stable in 2012, employers are taking more aggressive steps to manage their rising costs and improve employee health, according to findings from the 2012 Towers Watson/National Business Group on Health (NBGH) Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care. Steps being taken focus on: Developing a... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Employers Interested in Exploring a Corporate Health Exchange Model

From Aon Hewitt: Employers Interested in Exploring a Corporate Health Exchange Model, Says Aon Hewitt  --  March 23 marks two years since Health Care Reform legislation passed. During this time, many employers have re-examined the way in which they provide health care benefits to employees. While state exchanges will not be available to employers with more than 100 employees until at least 2017, organizations are exploring alternate health care models, such as Corporate... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, March 13, 2012

TN Plans Encouraged to Give "Good Driver Discounts"

Proposed recommendations for the Tennessee Health Insurance Exchange encourage health plans and employers to establish expectations about personal responsibility and engagement through benefit designs in the Exchange.   The wellness program could provide some sort of "good driver discount" in the form of a lower premium or other incentives to those enrollees who satisfy these standards. Having the exchange plans offer these incentives will make it easier for larger employers too!... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, December 12, 2011

How Will a TN Insurance Exhcange Impact Employers?

Get the answer by reading the full document (or the Executive Summary ), “Best Alternatives to a Federal Insurance Exchange in Tennessee”, just issued by the State of Tennessee Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative (the Initiative). The report provides a comprehensive analysis of the governance, structure, processes of an insurance exchange and suggests how Tennessee may want to address the issues to ensure a stable and competitive market in the state. The Small Business... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, October 31, 2011

IOM's Essential Health Benefits Recommendations Leave More Questions Than Answers

The IOM recommended that HHS develop an EHB package by May 2012. The high-level recommendations are as follows: 1. The EHB package should be adjusted so that the expected national average premium for a “silver” (second-lowest-price) plan is actuarially equivalent to the average premium small employers would have paid in 2014 for a typical plan. 2. The HHS Secretary should establish a framework for monitoring EHB implementation and updating that accounts for changes in... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, October 20, 2011

McKinsey Projects 30% of Employers Will Drop Health Benefits

Major findings from McKinsey's early 2011 survey of 1,300 employers include: Overall, 30 percent of employers will definitely or probably stop offering employer-sponsored insurance (ESI) in the years after 2014. Among employers with a high awareness of reform, this proportion increases to more than 50 percent, and upward of 60 percent will pursue some alternative to traditional ESI. At least 30 percent of employers would gain economically from dropping coverage even if... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Monday, June 6, 2011

Brokers Seek to Preserve Role in Health Insurance Exchanges: TN Update

Insurance brokers, concerned that their livelihoods could be significantly impacted with the implementation of health insurance exchanges, are working hard to be sure they continue to play a role and earn agent commissions. Efforts include working with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners to get Congress to exempt broker/agent commissions from the medical loss ratio requirements; introducing a bill in Iowa that requires individuals and small employers to use a broker to... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, March 16, 2011

MBGH Talks with MBQ About How State Health Insurance Exchanges Impact Businesses

Cristie Upshaw Travis, CEO of Memphis Business Group on Health, talked with Richard Banks, blogger for the Memphis Business Quarterly's Business Minded Blog, about a critical component of healthcare reform, state health insurance exchanges, and how exchanges will impact Memphis businesses. Read the complete post to learn the basics about exchanges. Get information about how Tennessee is planning to implement exchanges by clicking "Health Insurance Exchange" tag at the end of this post... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MBGH's Health Reform Meeting Outlined Key Decisions for Employers

Andy Webber, CEO and President of the National Business Coalition on Health in Washington, DC, addressed a room full of Memphis employers and community leaders at Christian Brothers University on December 14,2010, on "Health Care Reform: The Uncertain Journey Forward" Andy suggested there are three chapters in health reform, each of which include key decisions for employers: Chapter 1: Health Insurance & Benefits Regulation Will employers choose to continue grandfather status for... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Key Stakeholders Want TN to Operate It's Own Health Insurance Exchange

According to the State of Tennessee Insurance Exchange Planning Initiative, "Key stakeholders now express (in writing) their preference that Tennessee operate the exchange instead of the federal government.  These groups include all of the major insurers, both major associations for brokers and agents (i.e., Tennessee division of the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers (NAIFA) in Tennessee), Tennessee Medical... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Milliman Survey: Even with New Contracting Approaches Rates Increase 11.7% in 2011

Milliman's 2010 Group Health Insurance Survey  found insurers estimated a 10.2% and 11.7% increase for HMOs and PPOs respectively for 2011. The survey also found that the most frequent contracting and cost control steps insurers are taking in 2011 include: Quality incentive programs Shared risk with provider networks Increased price transparency with members More aggressively tiered providers networks Reduced broker commissions Almost all of the insurers... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Thursday, October 28, 2010

Tennessee Starts to Evaluate Health Insurance Exchanges

Should the state of Tennessee establish its own health insurance exchange or tap into the national, federal exchange? That is the question being considered by the State of Tennessee under a $1 million grant from the federal government. I attended the "kick-off" meeting on October 22, 2010 for Tennessee's evaluation of the whole health insurance exchange issue. About 200 of us gathered in the central Nashville library to hear about the proposal TN had made for planning grant funds from the... Read More
Posted by Cristie Travis at Saturday, October 23, 2010

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