Two Minute Drill

Quietly Lurking: 2017 Obamacare Waiver Could Open the Door for States to Do Their Own Thing

We’re keeping an eye on it; and, apparently so are many of the states. The healthcare reform law includes a waiver that, starting in 2017, would let states take federal dollars now invested in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and redirect them and redesign their own health care systems.

Some elements of the law could not be repealed, such as the requirement that insurance companies provide coverage regardless of pre-existing health problems. But they could replace the law’s unpopular mandate that requires virtually everyone in the country to have health insurance, provided the alternative worked reasonably well.

IRS Sets 2016 Limits for HSA Deductions – Minor Changes

The IRS released this week the inflation adjusted limits for health savings accounts (maximum contributions) and HSA-compatible health plans (minimum deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket costs).

2016 IRS Limits*

  Type of Limit

Single Plan

Family Plan

Maximum HSA Contribution Limit $3,350  ($3,350) $6,750  ($6,650)
Minimum Health Plan Deductible $1,300  ($1,300) $2,600  ($2,600)
Maximum Health Plan Out-of-Pocket $6,550  ($6,450) $13,100 ($12,900)
Catch-up Contribution (Age 55+) $1,000  ($1,000) $1,000  ($1,000)

*2015 Limits in parentheses

 For official word from the IRS refer to  http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-15-30.pdf

Costs For Routine Colonoscopies and Who Pays? It Can Be A Real Pain… In the Pocketbook.

We’ve seen quite a spike recently in the number of claims issues clients’ employees are reporting related to the coverage of colonoscopies.  The problem almost always centers on billing for the service and payment of the claim.  Many employees report that they are being forced to pay out-of-pocket for colonoscopies that they believe should be fully covered under preventive care benefits.

Questions about Obamacare and Tax Season?

Here’s Some Info To Help…

If an employee (and others in their respective tax household) had health coverage for the entire year (employer sponsored, individual plan, Medicare, Medicaid, etc.,) they’ll only need to simply check the box on line 61 of Form 1040, line 38 of Form 1040-A, or line 11 of Form 1040-EZ and they’re done.

More on the Impact of Anthem’s Data Breach

And What’s Being Done to Protect Those Affected…

After attending a meeting, corresponding with an Anthem representative, and monitoring their website for updates, here’s more information on who’s at risk from the recent cyber attack and what steps Anthem is taking to control the potential harm to those whose data was compromised:

Anthem’s Data Breach: What you should know and what we are doing about it.

As you likely already know, Anthem’s database was recently hacked. It appears that nearly all Anthem product lines were impacted. Anthem, the country’s 2nd largest health insurance carrier, reports that member information for some 80 million individuals may have been compromised in the attack. We should assume that all current and former Anthem customers are vulnerable and may have been affected.

Those Anthem plans and brands directly impacted include Anthem Blue CrossAnthem Blue Cross and Blue ShieldBlue Cross and Blue Shield of GeorgiaEmpire Blue Cross and Blue ShieldAmerigroupCaremoreUnicareHealthlink and DeCare.

Want the Key to Controlling Your Personal Health Spending?

Healthcare consumerism is good. We should all work to get better at it. Transparency tools that are provided by the carriers and by innovative up and comers like CareTrader can be quite helpful. We should take advantage of these tools and use them wisely.

But, if you really want to control your personal healthcare spending, get the best bang for your healthcare buck and achieve the best possible medical outcome, your best bet is to PICK THE RIGHT DOC.

Why?

Lots of Medicare Questions From Employers and Employees This Year

…Here are the ABC’s (and Part D)

For whatever reason – aging workforce, increasing costs, heightened awareness because of ACA – we’re getting lots and lots of questions from clients and their employees about Medicare this year. Way more than in years past. The vast majority of questions are about the basics.

And, it’s easy to get confused about what’s what. So thought it might be helpful to put together a cheat sheet of sorts about the basics. Here’s a quick summary of the ABC’s (and Part D’s)…

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