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Check back often for the latest news & updates in benefits and insurance.

From employee benefits information to hot topics in healthcare reform—find the most current information here!

Jul
27
Senate may opt for “skinny repeal” of ACA
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news in NYTimes.com

Senators and lobbyists say Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will offer a bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act’s individual and employer mandates to buy health insurance and the medical device tax if the Senate does not pass a broader ACA replacement bill. Independent analysts and the Congressional Budget Office have said that repealing the mandates would lead to higher premiums, lower enrollment and instability in the insurance market.

Read the entire news article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/25/upshot/skinny-obamacare-repeal-would-clash-with-republicans-health-care-promises.html?WT.mc_id=SmartBriefs-Newsletter&WT.mc_ev=click&ad-keywords=smartbriefsnl

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Jul
25
Senate looks toward vote to open debate on ACA repeal
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News in Washington Post

Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., is expected to return to Washington, D.C., today despite being recently diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer to vote on a motion to proceed with debate on a health care bill. Some sources say Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., will bring up an amended version of a 2015 Affordable Care Act repeal bill.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/gop-leaders-press-ahead-with-health-care-vote-in-hopes-of-sustaining-repeal-effort/2017/07/25/2525470c-7126-11e7-8839-ec48ec4cae25_story.html?utm_term=.d126d9661fc8

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Jul
25
Reconciliation poses problems for key BCRA provisions
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article on Reuters.com

Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough says some parts of the Better Care Reconciliation Act violate the Byrd Rule and would require 60 votes to pass, instead of the simple majority Republican leaders are aiming for under reconciliation procedures, and appropriation of cost-sharing reduction payments and a lockout provision for lapsed coverage are among the problematic portions of the bill. GOP leaders announced last week that they plan to vote Tuesday on a procedural motion to kick off debate on health care legislation, but it remains unclear whether they have sufficient votes to advance debate, or which bill they will be voting on.

Read the entire article:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-idUSKBN1A80QG

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Jul
19
Schumer pitches 3 fixes to stabilize ACA markets
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article in Washington Post

Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., said Democrats are open to collaboration with Republicans in order to stabilize individual insurance markets and make improvements to the Affordable Care Act. Schumer identified three steps to stabilize insurance markets quickly, including continuing cost-sharing reduction payments, creating a permanent reinsurance program for the individual market, and allowing people in counties that lack insurers to purchase insurance from the health exchange in Washington, D.C., where many lawmakers purchase coverage.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2017/07/18/here-are-the-three-easy-things-that-chuck-schumer-thinks-can-shore-up-obamacare/?utm_term=.af3632cdfdeb

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Jul
18
Health systems willing to take on risk are starting to see payoff
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article in ModernHealthcare.com

Health systems have taken a cautious approach to risk-based, value-based models such as capitation, with most movement toward value involving Medicare shared-savings contracts or other upside-only risk, according to the Modern Healthcare Hospital Systems Survey. Systems that have invested in infrastructure in order to minimize costs and improve quality such as hiring staff to coordinate care, leveraging analytics, and partnering with community organizations are starting to see a return on investment, with 19 survey respondents reporting a surplus for risk-based contracts.

Read the entire article:
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170715/NEWS/170719933

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Jul
18
AHIP calls on Senate to remove Cruz amendment in revised health care bill
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article on TheHill.com

AHIP and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association sent a joint letter Friday to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., and Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., calling for the removal of a provision in the Better Care Reconciliation Act that would allow insurers to sell plans that don’t meet Affordable Care Act standards as long as they also sell an ACA-compliant plan. The measure, proposed by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, “is simply unworkable in any form and would undermine protections for those with pre-existing medical conditions, increase premiums and lead to widespread terminations of coverage for people currently enrolled in the individual market,” the groups wrote.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/342142-insurers-warn-cruz-provision-will-skyrocket-premiums-for-sick-people

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Jul
14
5 hurdles to Senate passage of revised health care bill
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article in USA Today

Senate Republicans hope their latest proposed bill to replace Obamacare will attract enough votes from the moderate and conservative wings of their party to pass next week. But there are at least five hurdles that could derail efforts to reach consensus. They include…

Read the entire article:
http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/politics/5-hurdles-to-senate-passage-of-revised-health-care-bill/ar-BBEmMtP

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Jul
12
Lawmaker prepares bill to repeal fiduciary rule
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article on ThinkAdvisor.com

A House Financial Services subcommittee is scheduled Thursday to discuss legislation by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo., that would replace the Labor Department’s fiduciary rule with a best-interest standard for retail investment advice. The measure would require brokers to offer recommendations that “reflect reasonable diligence, care, skill and prudence” and to disclose “any material conflict of interest.”

Read the entire article:
http://www.thinkadvisor.com/2017/07/11/rep-wagner-drafts-bill-to-kill-dol-fiduciary-rule

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Jul
11
Senate Republicans to release revised health care bill this week
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article on Bloomberg.com

Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said an amended version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act will be released by Republican leaders later this week, and it could be brought to the floor for a vote next week. Republican leaders didn’t specify how they plan to change the health care repeal legislation to gain enough support, but ideas under discussion include eliminating a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s tax increases on the wealthy, making changes to Medicaid cuts and increasing funding for stabilization of the individual market.

Read the entire article:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-07-10/senate-health-bill-fails-to-pick-up-support-after-week-of-recess

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Jul
07
Privately run exchanges expand options, improve engagement
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article in HealthcarePayerIntelligence.com

Privately run insurance exchanges have increased benefits options for employees, streamlined benefits administration and improved price transparency and engagement, a Willis Towers Watson report says. Employee satisfaction rates are high, with 79% of those surveyed approving of their employer’s decision to join a privately run exchange and 83% saying their understanding of health benefits had been improved by the exchange.

Read the entire article:
https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/healthcare-payers-see-promise-in-private-exchange-successes

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Jul
06
Wellness programs should include feedback, options for employees
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article in BenefitsPro.com

Successful well-being programs should give employees a sense of ownership and allow for customization, writes registered dietitian Maya Bach, who leads Uptake’s workplace Wellbeing Program. Companies with good wellness programs encourage feedback and act on it, and offer different ways employees can engage in initiatives, Bach says.

Read the entire article:
http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/07/03/3-traits-of-a-successful-well-being-program-for-em

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Jul
06
GOP looks at repealing ACA before replacing
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article in TheHill.com

Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Ben Sasse, R-Neb., are among the Republicans who say Congress should repeal the Affordable Care Act and then replace it with a separate piece of legislation, as GOP leaders struggle to get enough votes to pass their existing health care bill. Trump floated the idea via Twitter on Friday, and White House Director for Legislative Affairs Marc Short said the administration is open to this possibility, but he said he believes senators are nearing a vote on the current legislation.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/340437-gop-sens-push-possibility-of-repealing-then-replacing-obamacare

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Jun
28
Senate Republicans push back health care vote until after recess
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article on CNN.com

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Tuesday that a vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act will be postponed until after the July 4 recess amid opposition from several GOP senators and following the release of a Congressional Budget Office report showing that 22 million more Americans would become uninsured by 2026 if the bill becomes law. The plan is to develop compromise legislation by the end of this week and give senators the break to study the legislation before a vote, an aide said.

Read the entire article:
http://edition.cnn.com/2017/06/27/politics/republican-health-care-bill-vote-delayed/index.html

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Jun
27
Team up with other businesses for referrals
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article on Inc.com

Forming partnerships with other businesses to generate referrals can be a highly cost-effective way to grow your company. Nicholas McGill explains eight ways to develop and sustain such partnerships, including setting clear expectations and using strong incentives.

Read the entire article:
https://www.inc.com/nicholas-mcgill/how-to-partner-with-other-businesses-to-get-more-customers.html

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Jun
27
The benefits of blogging for your business
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article on Business2Community.com

As a lead generation tool, blogging should be one of your highest priorities, advises social media strategist Warren Knight. Five steps to success include knowing what your customers want to read and effectively using search engine optimization to drive traffic to your website.

Read the entire article:
http://www.business2community.com/blogging/step-step-guide-writing-small-business-blog-01868686#sE9KhJqVhYuPbbZQ.97

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Jun
23
Senate bill calls for steep cuts to Medicaid, end of mandate
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article in Forbes.com

Senate Republicans on Thursday released a 142-page bill, aimed at repealing and replacing portions of the Affordable Care Act, that would also make steep cuts to Medicaid and end the requirement for all Americans to have health insurance while creating new federal tax credits to help people buy coverage. The bill would allow states to drop benefits mandated by the ACA, such as maternity and mental health care, and it would continue cost-sharing reduction payments through 2020.

Read the entire article:
https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucejapsen/2017/06/22/despite-trumps-threats-senate-bill-funds-obamacare-subsidies-to-2020/#2f7d8eb3d0af

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Jun
20
Republicans aim to release health care bill text this week, vote before recess
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article in Politico.com

GOP senators and aides said they expect the Senate to finish writing health care legislation later this week, and a vote is likely next week. Portions of the legislation have been sent to the Congressional Budget Office, and a report on how the provisions would affect insurance coverage and the federal budget could come early next week, although it’s not clear whether Republicans have the votes to pass the bill.

Read the entire article:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/06/19/sources-senate-gop-prepared-for-obamacare-repeal-vote-next-week-239726

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Jun
20
How the Senate bill is expected to deal with Medicaid, taxes and more
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article in the Hill.com

Senate Republicans have yet to unveil the details of their health care bill, but they’ve shared some information that collectively paints a general picture. The Senate bill is likely to gradually phase out the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid expansion, strengthen the tax credit structure to provide more help to older and low-income enrollees than the House legislation and keep some ACA taxes; it may also allocate more funding to combat the opioid crisis and for high-risk pools while continuing cost-sharing reduction payments for a few years.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/338188-obamacare-six-key-parts-of-the-senate-bill

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Jun
14
How four employers are getting benefits communications right
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article in Employee Benefit Advisor

Trying to successfully communicate with employees has always been one of the biggest challenges for the executives in charge of HR and benefit plans. Getting workers to pay attention to open enrollment messages, in particular, has been a huge obstacle. That’s due to an overload of information, endless emails and the fact that the subject matter is often difficult to understand…

Read the entire article:
https://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/news/how-four-employers-are-getting-benefits-communications-right

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Jun
13
How to keep up with your deadlines at work
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article on Entrepreneur.com

Keeping up with deadlines can be mentally and physically overwhelming. Here are six tips on how to manage and meet professional deadlines.

Read the entire article:
https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/287159

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Jun
13
CMS seeks public input on making ACA markets more “streamlined”
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article on CNBC.com

The CMS plans to request public comment on steps for “reducing the regulatory burdens” of the Affordable Care Act and streamlining markets. CMS Administrator Seema Verma called for “feedback on how to change existing regulations in ways that put patients first, promote greater consumer choice, enhance affordability and return more control over health care to the states.”

Read the entire article:
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/06/09/trump-administration-asks-for-input-on-reducing-obamacare-burdens.html

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Jun
02
Experts: Some health trends will continue regardless of ACA
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article on Harvard Business Review

Three health care trends that will continue regardless of what happens to the Affordable Care Act are an aging population, the effects of technology in health care, and life science discoveries that improve quality of life and longevity, according to health care experts with DeSilva + Phillips. They wrote in the Harvard Business Review that this research is being driven by availability of personal health data and lower costs for integrating health care data in the cloud, which will help lead to personalized medicine.

Read the entire article:
https://hbr.org/2017/05/3-health-care-trends-that-dont-hinge-on-the-aca

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Jun
01
Sticky issues complicate health care discussions in Senate
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article in The News Tribune

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., faces a difficult balance in his effort to achieve consensus around health care policy in the Senate and retain all but two Republican votes. Coverage losses predicted by a Congressional Budget Office report on the American Health Care Act, debate over efforts to unravel the expansion of Medicaid and the demands of conservatives who want to lift many regulations put in place by the Affordable Care Act are among the sticking points.

Read the entire article:
http://www.thenewstribune.com/news/business/article153299614.html

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May
24
Senate Republicans seek insurer input on health care bill
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article on TheHill.com

The Republican Senate working group on health care met Tuesday with Blue Cross Blue Shield to discuss what’s needed in Senate health care legislation to ensure insurer participation and affordable plans, and one point of discussion was cost-sharing reduction payments. Senators have not reached consensus on the payments, but Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., acknowledged time is short to ensure stability for 2018.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/334784-gop-senators-meet-with-insurer-for-input-on-obamacare-repeal

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May
24
Trump budget preserves Medicare, Social Security but cuts poverty programs
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article at Bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget calls for significant cuts to programs that benefit the poor including a 17% reduction in Medicaid funding, a 20% reduction in Children’s Health Insurance Program funding, and a 29% reduction in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program funding. While the budget doesn’t call for reductions in Medicare or the retirement benefits provided by Social Security, it would cut benefits paid by Social Security Disability Insurance and eliminate cost-of-living adjustments paid under the federal government’s retirement system.

Read the entire article:
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-05-23/trump-seeks-3-6-trillion-in-spending-cuts-to-reshape-government

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May
22
Trump’s proposed budget to include Medicaid cuts, SNAP changes
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article in Washington Post

President Donald Trump’s budget plan, to be unveiled Tuesday, reportedly will include major cuts to Medicaid and changes to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, among others. The administration will also call to allow states more flexibility in setting work requirements for anti-poverty programs.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/trump-to-propose-big-cuts-to-safety-net-in-new-budget-this-week/2017/05/21/62c01f44-3e34-11e7-adba-394ee67a7582_story.html?utm_term=.cc60f271a725

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May
16
Administration to wind down SHOP exchanges
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article in Washington Post

Federal officials said they plan to propose eliminating the online health insurance exchange for small businesses created under the Affordable Care Act. Small businesses would no longer be able to shop for health plans under the Small Business Health Options Program website and would instead be directed to insurers and brokers.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/trump-administration-to-dismantle-small-business-part-of-aca-marketplaces/2017/05/15/c3e09082-3999-11e7-9e48-c4f199710b69_story.html?utm_term=.6349cd512227

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May
12
Health and taxes in the AHCA
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article in MarketWatch

The American Health Care Act passed by the House last week contains a number of tax-related provisions that will affect individuals and businesses if they become law, including repealing: the 0.9% Medicare tax for higher-income taxpayers, the 3.8% Medicare surtax on certain investment income, the cap on flexible spending account contributions and more.

Read the entire article:
http://www.marketwatch.com/story/how-trumps-health-care-bill-would-impact-your-taxes-2017-05-08

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May
09
AHIP and other groups express concerns about GOP health care bill
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article on HealthpayerIntelligence.com

AHIP is prepared to work with the Senate to improve the American Health Care Act in order to ensure that coverage is available for “low- and moderate-income families who rely on Medicaid or buy their own coverage,” according to AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner, who also cited a need for clarity on exchange stability concerns including cost-sharing reduction payments as insurers face marketplace filing deadlines for 2018. Payers, professional associations, providers and patient advocacy groups have voiced concerns about the AHCA, which the House voted to pass last week.

Read the entire article:
https://healthpayerintelligence.com/news/healthcare-orgs-react-to-house-vote-on-american-health-care-act

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May
09
AHCA clears House, but Senate is likely to draft its own bill
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article found in Washington Post

After narrowly clearing the House, the American Health Care Act heads to the Senate, but Republican leaders there said they are likely to draft their own legislation. Among senators’ concerns about the AHCA are cuts to Medicaid and the number of people who would be covered under the individual market.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/powerpost/if-house-passes-gop-health-care-bill-a-steeper-climb-awaits-in-the-senate/2017/05/04/26a901da-30bd-11e7-8674-437ddb6e813e_story.html?utm_term=.67829e1a22c3

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May
03
Republicans draft AHCA amendment to bring moderates on board
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article in Politico.com

House Republicans are working on an amendment to the proposed American Health Care Act that would address concerns from moderates about how the legislation would affect people with pre-existing conditions by creating an $8 billion, five-year fund to help consumers with pre-existing conditions pay the higher premiums they could be charged if the AHCA becomes law. White House officials and some in the House are pushing for a vote this week before the House’s next recess begins Friday.

Read the entire article:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/05/02/health-care-republicans-obamacare-237910

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May
03
How to encourage referrals from clients
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article in WealthManagement.com

Clients are unlikely to recommend an adviser if they are not fully aware of services offered or the ideal client profile, write Stephen Boswell and Kevin Nichols of The Oechsli Institute. They offer tips for starting this conversation to increase the number and quality of unsolicited referrals.

Read the entire article:
http://www.wealthmanagement.com/client-relations/how-let-your-clients-know-you-re-open-business

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May
01
Trump seeks ACA replacement vote
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article in NYTimes.com

President Donald Trump is urging the House to vote this week on a bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act.  After two false starts on President Trump’s promise to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Trump administration officials are pressing the House to vote on a revised version of the Republican repeal bill this week, perhaps as soon as Wednesday, administration officials said.

Read the entire article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/05/01/us/politics/trump-health-care.html

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Apr
26
States establish reinsurance programs amid ACA uncertainty
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article in Kaiser Health News

Some states are following the footsteps of Alaska and establishing reinsurance programs to help insurers manage the risk of covering high-cost enrollees in an effort to stabilize markets. Alaska, which created its program last year, and Minnesota are seeking federal support through a waiver option, and Oklahoma and possibly Maine have similar plans, while Idaho plans to use an existing insurance tax to fund its reinsurance program.

Read the entire article:
http://khn.org/news/hhs-states-move-to-help-insurers-defray-costs-of-sickest-patients/

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Apr
26
Are your employer clients ACA-compliant?
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article in BenefitsPro.com

HHS has indicated it will continue to enforce the Affordable Care Act, making this a good time for employers to ensure they are on track to meet all of the law’s requirements. Brokers can help by walking employers through a checklist assessing: grandfathered status, reimbursement of premiums, employer shared responsibility requirements, management of independent contractors or leased employees, reporting of coverage and W2s, PCORI fees, provision of benefits coverage summaries, and exchange notices.

Read the entire article:
http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/04/20/aca-requirements-checklist-brokers-and-employers-s?t=compliance

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Apr
26
Talk is cheap when it comes to earning trust
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article in randomactsofleadership.com

Leaders who want to earn trust should remember “actions speak far more loudly than your words,” writes Susan Mazza. She outlines nine actions leaders can take to earn the trust of their teams, including being on time, preparing for meetings and taking ownership of mistakes.

Read the entire article:
http://randomactsofleadership.com/9-ways-leader-earn-trust/

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Apr
19
More US hospitals asking patients for upfront payment
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article in Reuters.com

Some US hospitals are exploring pre-payment strategies for patients to help counter rising levels of patient debt and uncompensated care as patients adjust to greater cost-sharing. Iowa-based Henry County Health Center has started providing patients with cost estimates and medical advice ahead of surgery, while other hospitals are expanding charity eligibility, requiring advance payment and partnering with companies that provide zero-interest patient loans.

Read the entire article:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-healthcare-hospital-payments-idUSKBN17F1CM

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Apr
19
Trump urges pressure on Congress to repeal and replace ACA
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article in Politico.com

Speaking at a tool manufacturing company in Wisconsin, President Donald Trump said a deal on dismantling the Affordable Care Act is imminent and encouraged attendees to put pressure on Congress to repeal and replace the law.

Read the entire article:
http://www.politico.com/story/2017/04/donald-trump-wisconsin-visit-new-promises-237335

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Apr
19
Tips for creating effective video marketing
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Blog on Bufferapp.com

Video is a powerful marketing tool, but what characterizes the most successful examples? Ash Read identifies seven traits of the most engaging videos, including attention-grabbing beginnings and a focus on storytelling.

Read the entire Blog:
https://blog.bufferapp.com/video-marketing-tips

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Apr
12
HHS to continue funding ACA subsidies for insurers
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article in NYTimes.com

HHS said it will continue to pay cost-sharing subsidies to insurers to compensate them for discounts they are required to offer certain low-income people under the Affordable Care Act. House Republicans have called the subsidies unlawful because they were not approved by Congress.

Read the entire article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/10/us/politics/affordable-care-act-trump-subsidies.html

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Apr
12
AHIP calls for solutions as Rx drug spending consumes health care dollars
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article in Employee Benefits Adviser

AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner issued a statement calling for “real solutions” to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, which AHIP says account for 22% of the health care consumer’s premium dollar, making it the single largest expense. Increased price transparency and innovation are two potential solutions, according to AHIP spokeswoman Kristine Grow, who cited a need to reduce premiums and out-of-pocket costs for consumers.

Read the entire article:
https://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/news/ahip-focuses-on-rx-cost-containment-curbing-expense-drivers

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Apr
11
ACA markets likely to stabilize with a few fixes, report finds
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article in TheHill.com

A Standard & Poor’s Financial Services report found that a few fixes to the Affordable Care Act will yield improvements in market stability and business outcomes for payers next year. The report contradicts the notion of an ACA “death spiral” but warns against eliminating cost-sharing reduction payments or taking other disruptive actions, because insurers would likely be forced to raise premiums substantially or leave markets entirely.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/327896-report-obamacare-markets-stabilizing-absent-drastic-changes-to-law

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Apr
05
How to project an executive presence
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article in US News & World Report

Even if you don’t have a fancy title, it is important to project an executive presence to improve your odds of career progression. This article offers three tips on cultivating an aura of leadership.

Read the entire article:
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2017-03-31/3-ways-to-develop-executive-presence-regardless-of-your-title

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Apr
04
Pence proposes allowing states to roll back essential health benefits
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article in theHill.com

In an effort to find consensus on health care policy, Vice President Mike Pence proposed allowing states to apply for waivers to the Affordable Care Act’s essential health benefits and the community rating regulation, which prevents sick enrollees from being charged more for coverage. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., chairman of the House Freedom Caucus, noted members would be receptive to such changes but need to review legislative language before striking an agreement.

Read entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/327124-pence-presents-new-healthcare-offer-to-freedom-caucus

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Apr
04
Trump vows to continue to push forward with ACA repeal
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article in NYTimes.com

President Donald Trump is still working to strike a deal that will allow him to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, meeting Sunday with Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a leading critic of the failed GOP health care legislation, to discuss policy. Trump reaffirmed his intention to move forward with a new health care strategy in both a Financial Times interview and through a tweet on Sunday, saying that it was his idea to cancel the vote on the legislation.

Read the entire article:
https://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2017/04/02/world/ap-us-trump.html

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Mar
29
Government must continue ACA cost-sharing support, GOP reps say
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article in TheHill.com

Reps. Greg Walden, R-Ore. and Tom Cole, R-Okla., this week said Congress must find a way to continue cost-sharing subsidies for plans sold under the Affordable Care Act, or market instability would become untenable. Insurers have expressed concern about continued uncertainty regarding the funds, now that Republicans who challenged the subsidies in court are in a position to eliminate them.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/326122-top-house-republicans-favor-funding-key-obamacare-payments

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Mar
27
AHCA failure is not the end of health care policy debate
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article on TheHill.com

When GOP leaders pulled the proposed American Health Care Act from the House floor Friday after falling short on votes, Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., called the Affordable Care Act “the law of the land,” and it appeared the administration would move on to other priorities. But Republicans speaking over the weekend said their efforts to reshape health care are not finished, and some advocated for a bipartisan approach.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/325844-lawmakers-signal-fight-for-healthcare-reform-is-not-over

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Mar
27
ACA stands but still needs work
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article in Bloomberg.com

The Affordable Care Act remains in place after the proposed American Health Care Act was pulled from the House without a vote, but its fate is heavily dependent on support from Congress and the Trump administration, which already has taken steps to scale back enforcement of the individual insurance mandate and cut spending on enrollment marketing. AHIP spokeswoman Kristine Grow said the group’s immediate priority continues to be stabilization for 2018 through continuation of cost-sharing subsidies, eliminating the health insurance tax and other steps.

Read the entire article:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-24/trump-may-have-lost-on-obamacare-yet-still-controls-its-fate

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Mar
15
Republicans question CBO estimates
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article in NPR

HHS Secretary Tom Price and other Republicans disputed Congressional Budget Office estimates regarding how many Americans would lose coverage under the American Health Care Act, and part of their argument may stem from how “insurance” is defined. The CBO used Affordable Care Act definitions for what constitutes coverage, but Republicans intend to allow leaner plans and take other measures they say will reduce premiums, allowing more people to afford plans.

Read the entire article:
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2017/03/14/520106003/how-many-would-lose-health-coverage-it-all-depends-how-you-define-insurance

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Mar
15
Senate confirms Verma as CMS administrator
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article in TheHill.com

The Senate voted 55-43 Monday evening to confirm Seema Verma as CMS administrator. Verma, who oversaw the design of Indiana’s Medicaid expansion program, begins her position as Republicans seek to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act with a proposed health plan that includes ending support for expanded Medicaid programs after 2019.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/senate/323765-senate-confirms-trumps-medicaid-medicare-pick

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Mar
15
ACA provisions: What they do and how they could change
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article in US News & World Reports

While some parts of the Affordable Care Act were not implemented smoothly, experts say provisions in the law have delivered, reducing the uninsured rate to an all-time low of less than 9%. This article reflects on the intent behind key aspects of the ACA, including the Medicaid expansion, the individual mandate, exchanges and generational equity, including their impact and how coverage is likely to change under new proposals.

Read the entire article:
https://www.usnews.com/news/business/articles/2017-03-13/some-parts-of-obamacare-are-working-fairly-well

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Mar
08
What the proposed American Health Care Act changes and what it leaves alone
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article found in HealthAffairs.org

An in-depth look into the proposed American Health Care Act, comprising two budget reconciliation bills that now head into committees, reveals that the legislation leaves many Affordable Care Act provisions in place, including those involving Medicare, care quality and biosimilars, and most other pieces of the law except those dealing with insurance affordability and mandates, taxes, and Medicaid. The legislation would eliminate actuarial value and metal level standards, permit age ratios of up to 5-to-1 and allow more generous contributions to health savings accounts.

Read the entire article:
http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2017/03/07/examining-the-house-republican-aca-repeal-and-replace-legislation/

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Mar
08
U.S. congressional panels to begin healthcare fight
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article at Reuters.com

A potentially lengthy U.S. legislative fight over replacing the Obamacare health law starts on Wednesday as two House of Representatives committees negotiate changes to a Republican plan backed by President Donald Trump.

Read the entire article:
http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-obamacare-idUSKBN16D2RC

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Mar
08
GOP releases ACA replacement plan
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article in Kaiser Health News

House Republicans’ proposal to replace the Affordable Care Act, unveiled Monday, would end funding for the Medicaid expansion by January 2020 while capping federal spending on the program, eliminate the mandate to buy health insurance and replace income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits. The plan would require insurers to cover those with preexisting conditions without charging more as long as coverage is continuous, give states $100 billion for programs such as high-risk pools and retain but delay the Cadillac tax until 2025.

Read the entire article:
http://khn.org/news/gop-overhaul-would-keep-obamacares-cadillac-tax-but-delay-it-until-2025/

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Mar
08
Republican governors craft Medicaid compromise plan
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article on Bloomberg.com

Republican governors from states including Arizona, Ohio, Tennessee, Utah and Wisconsin are working on a compromise proposal to continue parts of the Affordable Care Act’s Medicaid program expansion even if the ACA is repealed. The proposal is designed to maintain coverage for expansion populations, allow states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility to do so and include the option of per-enrollee funding rather than block grants.

Read the entire article:
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-03-02/gop-governors-forming-plan-to-keep-obama-s-medicaid-expansion

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Mar
02
Trump supports health care tax credits in address to Congress
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article at Bloomberg.com

President Donald Trump addressed several health care points during his first major address before Congress, expressing his support on issues such as greater Medicaid flexibility for states, selling insurance across state lines and health care tax credits, which has long received mixed support from Republicans. Trump also emphasized the importance of repealing the Affordable Care Act and providing coverage for those with pre-existing conditions, but noted that the insurance mandate “was never the right solution” for America.

Read the entire article:
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-03-01/trump-backs-health-care-tax-credits-that-have-split-republicans

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Mar
01
Governors split on proposed health care changes
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article in Washington Post

At the National Governors Association meeting Monday, the Trump administration pledged to cooperate with states in an attempt to assuage concerns about what repeal would mean for people covered through the Affordable Care Act. Republican-led states that expanded Medicaid under the ACA expressed concerns about loss of funding, while those in non-expansion states indicated support for funding caps and flexibility.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/report-warns-of-gaps-if-federal-health-care-dollars-are-cut/2017/02/27/17ef2c7a-fcc7-11e6-9b78-824ccab94435_story.html?utm_term=.2217f5925397

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Feb
27
Draft repeal bill outlines GOP plans for replacing the ACA
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article in Bloomberg.com

A draft version of Republican lawmakers’ Affordable Care Act repeal measure would eliminate the individual mandate, replace income-based subsidies with age-based tax credits and cut all of the law’s taxes, while targeting tax breaks on generous employer-based plans, cutting spending on Medicaid and allowing states to create high-risk pools. Insurers would be able to charge older enrollees up to five times what they charge young adults, and insurers would be allowed to increase premiums by 30% for anyone with gaps in coverage to encourage consumers to buy and keep their plans.

Read the entire article:
https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-24/gop-obamacare-plan-would-cover-fewer-people-blowback-grows

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Feb
21
Debates over funding slow ACA replacement legislation
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article in Modern Healthcare

Continued debate among congressional Republicans might slow the release of their Affordable Care Act replacement. Areas of concern include funding for states that expanded Medicaid eligibility and taxes on employer-sponsored health benefits, according to people familiar with the negotiations.

Read the entire article:
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170218/MAGAZINE/302189962/gop-anxiety-rises-as-conservatives-and-moderates-split-on-aca-repeal

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Feb
20
AHIP research: 20M consumers use HSAs
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article from AHIP

Health savings accounts are important tools to help reduce health care costs and give consumers more choice and control over their care, writes AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner, noting that research from AHIP finds that 20 million consumers are taking advantage of the accounts. Greater flexibility would improve their utility as a means for making health care more affordable, she writes.

Read the entire article:
https://ahip.org/hsas-give-consumers-greater-control-greater-savings/

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Feb
20
Industry Trends & News Update - week of February 20th
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article in US News & World Reports

When you want to begin a personal rebranding, consider what specific problems you can solve for any company you work for, writes Hannah Morgan. Also consider whether you have exceeded employer expectations in the past and what personality traits or interpersonal skills distinguish you from your peers.

Read the entire article:
http://money.usnews.com/money/blogs/outside-voices-careers/articles/2017-02-15/brand-yourself-for-career-stability

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Feb
15
Troubled startup Zenefits just laid off almost half its staff
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article in BusinessInsider.com

The roller-coaster ride of a startup known as Zenefits is not quite done with its dramatic drops. The company is cutting 45% of its workforce, it confirmed to Business Insider after a report by BuzzFeed’s William Alden.

Read the entire article:
http://www.businessinsider.com/zenefits-layoffs-cut-nearly-500-employees-full-email-2017-2

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Feb
13
Make your presentation one for the ages
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article found in GreatLeadershipbyDan.com

Attention spans are shorter than ever, which creates challenges for people giving presentations, writes Ted Frank. He suggests taking storytelling strategies from movies, including the use of visuals instead of text whenever possible.

Read the entire article:
http://www.greatleadershipbydan.com/2017/02/six-ways-to-make-your-presentation-hit.html

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Feb
08
Why you should be offering voluntary products
4 Comments

article in BenefitsPro.com

Interest in voluntary benefits has grown consistently, and data suggest employers that offer such products frequently offer a suite of them, including nontraditional products such as pet insurance, identity theft protection and more. Thirty percent of the businesses that offer voluntary benefits offer six or more products, underscoring the importance of including supplemental insurance in benefits packages, write Gil Lowerre and Bonnie Brazzell.

Read the entire article:
http://www.benefitspro.com/2017/02/08/employers-looking-more-and-more-to-voluntary

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Feb
08
Don’t let employees avoid personal responsibility
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article in Smart Brief

Leaders who fix problems instead of empowering others to develop solutions are only creating more work for themselves in the long run, writes Marlene Chism. She offers advice for how to listen to people’s complaints and coach them through to solutions.

Read the entire article:
http://smartbrief.com/original/2017/02/coaching-empowerment-how-promote-personal-responsibility

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Feb
06
ACA replacement may not be determined until 2018
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article in Huffington Post

Momentum behind the effort to unravel the Affordable Care Act continues to slow, and President Donald Trump said in an interview aired this weekend that it may be the end of the year or early next year before plans for a replacement are solidified.

Read the entire article:
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-obamacare-repeal-replace-2018_us_5897bea2e4b04061313773ae

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Feb
06
What insurers need for a stable individual market Individual market premiums have been expected to s
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article in Modern Healthcare

Individual market premiums have been expected to stabilize in 2018, but clarity is needed soon on what marketplaces will look like next year, AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner said. Cost-sharing subsidies must be authorized by Congress, reinsurance payments from 2016 should be made, temporary transition policies phased out, special enrollment verification should be improved and nonpayment grace periods must be tightened, Tavenner said.

Read the entire article:
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20170204/MAGAZINE/302049958/qa-ahip-ceo-marilyn-tavenner-reflects-on-the-fate-of-the-insurance

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Jan
31
Integration of dental, medical care gains support
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article in Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Physicians and dentists say there is a link between dental and medical health, and now insurance companies are looking at integrating services to improve patient outcomes and reduce costs. Study data showed regular dental exams reduced yearly medical costs and hospital readmissions for some patient groups.

Read the entire article:
http://www.post-gazette.com/business/healthcare-business/2017/01/30/Private-insurers-may-lead-in-developing-systems-that-integrate-treatment-between-medical-and-dental-care/stories/201701290060

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Jan
31
Congress to hear ACA bills this week
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article in The Hill

Both the House and Senate are scheduled to hold hearings on the future of the Affordable Care Act this week. The House Energy and Commerce committee will be hearing proposals on issues including coverage protection for those with pre-existing conditions and reducing premiums for younger consumers, while the Senate Health committee will be discussing efforts to stabilize the individual market as efforts to unravel the ACA move forward.

Read the entire article:
http://thehill.com/policy/healthcare/316620-week-ahead-house-panel-to-look-at-obamacare-replacement-bills

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Jan
30
Health reimbursement arrangements give small businesses another option
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article in Wall Street Journal (subscription needed)

Businesses with fewer than 50 employees that do not offer group health plans once again have the option of using health reimbursement arrangements to help employees cover health insurance premiums and other health care bills using pre-tax funds. These funds are tax deductible by the employer, and workers are not taxed as long as they have health coverage, although there are some restrictions on eligibility.

Read the entire article:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/tax-report-some-rare-good-news-for-small-businesses-paying-employee-health-costs-1485527402

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Jan
25
Drug prices are common target with disagreement over solutions
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article in NYTimes.com

President Donald Trump has indicated he’ll focus on bringing down prescription drug prices, a vow his press secretary reiterated this week, and his plan will likely include pushing for Medicare to negotiate directly with manufacturers. It’s an idea that typically has more support from Democrats than Republicans, and the Congressional Budget Office has found the approach would deliver modest results, partly because private prescription drug plans already negotiate prices on behalf of the government.

Read the entire article:
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/23/health/the-fight-trump-faces-over-drug-prices.html

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Jan
24
ACA overhaul likely to mean changes for Medicare, Medicaid
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article on CNBC.com

An overhaul of the Affordable Care Act is just one way the health care system is poised for change; the new administration and Congress also are revisiting their ideas for Medicare and Medicaid, with implications not just for consumers, but also Medicaid managed care organizations, health care providers and other stakeholders.

Read the entire article:
http://www.cnbc.com/2017/01/23/trump-price-plans-for-obamacare-medicare-and-medicaid-commentary.html

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Jan
23
Trump directs agencies to take action on ACA
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article in Washington Post

Soon after he was sworn into office, President Donald Trump signed an executive order directing US government agencies to “waive, defer, grant ¬exemptions from or delay” any piece of the Affordable Care Act that imposes a financial or regulatory burden. The language potentially affects consumers, insurers, health care providers and drug companies and could create an untenable level of risk for health plans operating in ACA markets.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/with-executive-order-trump-tosses-a-bomb-into-fragile-health-insurance-markets/2017/01/22/1afb3500-e046-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.0c06a637d08c

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Jan
18
How will ACA repeal affect large employer health care plans?
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article at Kaiser Health News

The possible repeal of the Affordable Care Act by Congress will affect health care plans of large employers in various areas, including preventive services, contraception, waiting periods and types of plans employers can offer, experts say. The areas that could be affected are explored in this analysis.

Read the entire article:
http://khn.org/news/large-employer-health-plans-could-also-see-some-impacts-from-obamacare-overhaul/

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Jan
17
ACA replacement will involve coverage for all, Trump says
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article in Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump said Saturday his team has nearly finished developing a plan to replace the Affordable Care Act, with the aim of providing “insurance for everybody,” noting that he’s only waiting for confirmation of HHS secretary nominee Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., to put the plan forward. Trump also said he plans to target drug manufacturers in an effort to stem rising prices.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-vows-insurance-for-everybody-in-obamacare-replacement-plan/2017/01/15/5f2b1e18-db5d-11e6-ad42-f3375f271c9c_story.html?utm_term=.222b6de966a1

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Jan
17
Few workers understand voluntary benefits
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article at Employee Benefit News

Two-thirds of employers supplement core benefits with voluntary products, such as long-term disability; dental, vision and hospital coverage; and even pet insurance, yet a recent study found that only 30% of employees surveyed are familiar with this type of benefit. While 45% of those surveyed say they don’t have savings to cover an unexpected emergency, experts say rising worker contributions to medical care may spark concerns about the affordability of voluntary products.

Read the entire article:
http://www.benefitnews.com/news/costs-confusion-keep-employees-from-buying-voluntary-benefits

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Jan
11
Ryan aims for concurrent action on ACA
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article on ABC News

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said the chamber will pass legislation repealing and replacing as much of the Affordable Care Act as it can, then will produce a second bill for full repeal and replacement. “It is our goal to bring it all together concurrently,” he said after a meeting with GOP colleagues.

Read the entire article:
http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/gop-anxiety-mounts-voiding-health-law-plan-44670223

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Jan
10
Insurers advocate for gradual Affordable Care Act transition
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article at CTMirror.org

In the face of Republican vows to repeal the Affordable Care Act, the nation’s insurers are advocating for a gradual transition, including subsidies so that those with moderate and low incomes can continue to afford coverage. “Changes can either begin a stable transition to a better approach, or they can bring about even more uncertainty and instability,” according to Marilyn Tavenner, president and CEO of AHIP.

Read the entire article:
http://ctmirror.org/2017/01/09/insurers-repeal-of-aca-should-go-slow-and-keep-subsidies-awhile/

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Jan
10
Here’s What Medicare Part A Costs and Covers in 2017
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article in Quad-City Times

Seniors covered by Medicare may not fully understand the four parts and the types of care covered by each. Although most beneficiaries of Medicare Part A do not pay premiums, there are costs associated with care, including a deductible of $1,316 per benefit period for inpatient care, and coinsurance for hospitalization that extends beyond 60 days until allotted benefits are exhausted.

Read the entire article:
http://qctimes.com/business/investment/markets-and-stocks/here-s-what-medicare-part-a-costs-and-covers-in/article_d2076cc1-c21f-5b24-ad2c-aabc6fbf9aa4.html

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Jan
04
Senate measure lays groundwork for ACA rollback
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article in Health Affairs Blog

Sen. Mike Enzi, R-Wyo., introduced a resolution Tuesday asking relevant House and Senate committees to develop budget reconciliation recommendations by Jan. 27 and creating a “reserve fund” that would set aside savings from a possible Affordable Care Act repeal to fund future health care legislation and reduce the budget deficit. The move sets the stage for rollback of the Affordable Care Act through the budget reconciliation process.

Read the entire article:
http://healthaffairs.org/blog/2017/01/03/aca-repeal-process-begins-in-congress/

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Jan
04
Beyond Tech: Best Practices for Communicating Benefits
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article at Paylocity.com

It’s no secret technology is playing an increasingly important role in administering benefits and communicating them to your clients’ employees. However, recent research reveals that while employees appreciate information communicated digitally or through technology, some still prefer the phone or in-person discussions to learn about their benefits.

Read the entire article:
http://www.paylocity.com/2017/01/04/practices-communicating-benefits/

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Jan
04
People like when their boss can do the work
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article in Harvard Business Review

Employees tend to be happier when their managers are also technically competent enough to do the work, write Benjamin Artz, Amanda Goodall and Andrew Oswald. “Although we found that many factors can matter for happiness at work—type of occupation, level of education, tenure, and industry are also significant, for instance—they don’t even come close to mattering as much as the boss’s technical competence,” they argue.

Read the entire article:
https://hbr.org/2016/12/if-your-boss-could-do-your-job-youre-more-likely-to-be-happy-at-work

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Dec
21
Health care leaders expect “repeal and replace” to take several years
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article in Modern Healthcare

If Republicans move ahead with plans to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, the transition period to whatever policy replaces the law will likely be several years long, health care leaders predict. Insurers are concerned about ensuring coverage for those who have gained insurance through the individual market and under Medicaid, says AHIP President and CEO Marilyn Tavenner, noting maintaining cost-sharing assistance is a particularly pressing concern.

Read the entire article:
http://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161217/MAGAZINE/312179883/leadership-symposium-2016-the-great-disruption-whats-next-for

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Dec
21
New HRA option for small businesses carries caveats
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article in Employee Benefit Advisor

A new hybrid health reimbursement arrangement, created as part of the 21st Century Cures Act, will allow small employers to reimburse employees for the cost of health coverage, provided certain conditions are met. While helpful to some employers, the new Qualified Small Employer HRA option comes with administrative and financial requirements that may not be appropriate for certain clients, writes Ebenconcepts’ David Smith.

Read the entire article:
http://www.employeebenefitadviser.com/opinion/tread-carefully-on-new-hra-law-allowing-individual-coverage-reimbursements

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Dec
19
Tips for educating, engaging millennials in benefits
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article in Employee Benefit News

Millennials represent a growing proportion of the nation’s workforce, and surveys have shown that millennials do not know about or enroll in benefit plans at the same levels as other cohorts. WageWorks Chief Marketing Officer Britta Meyer suggests methods for educating millennials about their benefits options and driving participation.

Read the entire article:
http://www.benefitnews.com/opinion/why-millennials-are-missing-the-mark-on-employee-benefits

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Dec
14
Employees want to customize their benefits, survey shows
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article at FinancialAdvisor.com

Survey data showed 73% of employees want a “benefits wallet,” or the ability to customize their workplace benefits to suit their needs, according to a LIMRA Secure Retirement Institute report. Overall, health insurance, retirement savings accounts and vacation were top benefits, but millennials favored education benefits and paid parental leave, Gen X employees prioritized financial planning and wellness programs, and baby boomers had a higher interest in disability insurance.

Read the entire article:
http://www.fa-mag.com/news/employees-want-a-benefits-wallet-30421.html

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Dec
13
McConnell ready to move on ACA repeal without replacement
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article in Morning Consult

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said that Congress will repeal a significant portion of the Affordable Care Act swiftly and did not indicate that the chamber would wait until a replacement plan is ready. Health insurers and other market experts have warned against repealing all or part of the law without a clear transition timeline to implement a replacement.

Read the entire article:
https://morningconsult.com/2016/12/12/mcconnell-obamacare-replacement-plan-phase-two/

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Dec
12
Insurers prepare for change, advise feds for careful ACA repeal
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article in Wall Street Journal

Health insurers are proceeding with caution and exploring possible scenarios in offering 2017 Affordable Care Act plans while preparing for the incoming administration’s promised repeal and replacement. Molina Healthcare CEO Mario Molina notes that with the currently unstable marketplaces, mistakes in repealing the law may lead to “a situation where no carrier would want to offer insurance” in the individual market, and AHIP called for improving restrictions on special enrollment signups and maintaining federal subsidies that help low-income consumers purchase coverage.

Read the entire article:
http://www.wsj.com/articles/insurers-step-up-lobbying-with-an-eye-to-health-law-changes-1481472000

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Dec
06
How to keep employees engaged if they aren’t promoted
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article in TrainingMag.com

A manager’s handling of disappointment and frustration from an employee who has lost out on a promotion can make the difference in keeping or losing that worker, writes Kevin James Saunders of Oculus Training. Saunders offers four tips for managing the aftermath, including giving the employee honest feedback and preparing for a rebuttal.

Read the entire article:
https://trainingmag.com/no-promotion-blues

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Dec
06
Wearing Your Insurance: 2017 is the Year for Tech in Health Care
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article at Paylocity.com

Wearable fitness trackers and other tech solutions have grown in popularity over the last several years — and 2017 is expected to be the year they start playing a major role in health insurance.

Read the entire article:
http://www.paylocity.com/2016/12/06/wearing-insurance-2017-year-tech-health-care/

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Dec
06
Trump’s Presidency Could Mean Sweeping Changes in Health Coverage, Taxes, and More
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article at Paylocity.com

As President-elect Donald Trump’s new administration moves closer to leading our country, expect big changes to the laws and policies that will affect your clients.

Read the entire article:
http://www.paylocity.com/2016/12/06/trumps-presidency-mean-sweeping-changes-health-coverage-taxes/

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Dec
02
Trump’s pick for HHS secretary has plans for replacing ACA
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article in NPR.org

Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., who is President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to lead HHS, has repeatedly proposed legislation to replace the Affordable Care Act. His plans include offering consumers fixed tax credits to buy health insurance, expanding health savings accounts, capping employer tax deductions for health insurance, creating state-run high-risk pools and allowing some coverage restrictions for pre-existing conditions.

Read the entire article:
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/11/29/503720671/5-things-to-know-about-rep-tom-prices-health-care-ideas

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Dec
02
Trump finalizes choices for HHS, CMS leadership
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article in Washington Post

President-elect Donald Trump has selected Rep. Tom Price, R-Ga., chairman of the House Budget Committee and a former orthopedic surgeon, to serve as HHS secretary in the incoming administration, according to a transition team official. Trump has also chosen Seema Verma, an Indiana health policy consultant, as CMS administrator, a source said.

Read the entire article:
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/powerpost/wp/2016/11/28/trump-to-name-rep-tom-price-as-next-hhs-secretary/?utm_term=.9626b2b6b4a3

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Dec
02
Republicans may move to overhaul Medicare
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article in NY Times

House Republicans have long called for major changes to Medicare, and House Speaker Paul Ryan has advocated for a plan involving premium support for beneficiaries, who would shop an exchangelike structure for coverage, choosing from private plans and traditional Medicare. President-elect Donald Trump’s transition website lists “modernize Medicare” among his priorities, but he has not shared any specifics.

Read entire article:
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/24/us/politics/donald-trump-medicare-republicans.html

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Nov
21
ACA is immediate priority for incoming administration, Pence says
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article in USA Today

President-elect Donald Trump will begin his term by focusing on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act right after the inauguration, Vice President-elect Mike Pence said in an interview on Sunday. A replacement will be driven by “free-market solutions,” Pence said.

Read the entire article:
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/2016/11/20/pence-trump-tackle-obamacare-out-gate/94165134/

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Nov
21
Replace performance reviews with career conversations
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article in The Context of Things

The system of performance reviews should be replaced with one of “career conversations,” writes Ted Bauer. The essential difference is that a performance review looks to the past, while a career conversation is forward-thinking.

Read the entire article:
http://thecontextofthings.com/2016/11/17/career-conversations/

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Nov
18
Horizon says privacy breach could affect up to 170K N.J. customers
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article in NJ.com

Some benefit letters mailed to as many as 170,000 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey customers over a recent three-day period included the names, policy numbers and the physician information of other policy holders — a privacy breach created by a printing error, the insurance company announced Monday.

Read entire article:
http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2016/11/horizon_alerts_170k_customers_to_possible_privacy.html

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Nov
18
Horizon says privacy breach could affect up to 170K N.J. customers
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article in NJ.com

Some benefit letters mailed to as many as 170,000 Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey customers over a recent three-day period included the names, policy numbers and the physician information of other policy holders — a privacy breach created by a printing error, the insurance company announced Monday.

Read entire article:
http://www.nj.com/healthfit/index.ssf/2016/11/horizon_alerts_170k_customers_to_possible_privacy.html

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Nov
15
Trump wants to keep some popular parts of ACA
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article at Bloomberg.com

President-elect Donald Trump said he would like to keep provisions in the Affordable Care Act that mandate coverage for pre-existing conditions and that allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26. Trump said he plans to repeal the rest of the law but will replace it with other options simultaneously so there will be no gaps in coverage.

Read the entire article:
http://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2016-11-11/trump-signals-flexibility-on-obamacare-citing-oval-office-talk

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Nov
15
6 tactics to boost employee retention
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article in The Globe and Mail

Employees’ tendency to switch jobs frequently can frustrate and exhaust small-business owners. Entrepreneurs and experts offer solutions for keeping valued people onboard, including offering pay incentives and trying to give them meaningful work.

Read the entire article:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/how-to-keep-valuable-employees-from-bailing/article32720213/

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