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Posts Tagged ‘Public Comment’

U.S. workers can carry over $500 of health spending accounts: Treasury

Friday, November 1st, 2013

Yahoo News reports:

“Americans who use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) for healthcare costs may now be able to carry up to $500 of expiring money into the next year, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.

For nearly 30 years, about 14 million families with FSAs faced a “use it or lose it” deadline of December 31 when the money in the account would expire.

Accountholders flush with cash at the end of the year would often scramble to spend their fund balance frivolously.


Health Coverage Under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Friday, January 11th, 2013

Follow this link for a great information about how people will get health insurance come 1/1/14



Illinois to decide on essential health benefits

Monday, September 24th, 2012

Bloomberg Businessweek reports:

“Gov. Pat Quinn has less than a month to choose which benefits will be required in basic health insurance plans sold to individuals and small businesses in Illinois under the federal health care law, an important decision that will determine the cost of future premiums and how broad coverage will be for many patients.

As the presidential election focuses on President Barack Obama’s national health care overhaul, Illinois has been inching toward implementing the law. Although the governor hasn’t been able to push through some needed legislation, he doesn’t need the Legislature to OK his choice of a benchmark to assure that Illinoisans receive “essential health benefits.”


HHS Ensures Consumers Get Better Value for Their Health Insurance Dollar

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Insurance News Net reports:

“WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)– Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced today that consumers will soon begin receiving unprecedented information on the value of their health insurance coverage, and some will receive rebates from insurance companies that spend less than 80 percent of their premium dollars on health care.

The Affordable Care Act requires that insurance companies this year begin notifying customers how much of their premiums they have spent on medical care and quality improvement. Beginning in 2011, insurers were required to spend at least 80 percent of total premium dollars they collect on medical care and quality improvement. Insurance companies that do not meet the 80/20 standard (also known as the Medical Loss Ratio) are required to pay rebates to their customers this year.

“Before the Affordable Care Act, insurance companies could spend your premium dollars on administrative red tape and marketing,” said Secretary Sebelius. “With today’s notice, we’re taking a big step toward making insurers accountable to consumers. Some of these insurance companies have already changed their behavior by lowering premiums or spending more on medical care and quality improvement, while the remainder will need to refund this money to their customers this year.”

The proposed consumer notices about whether their insurance company has met the new standard have been posted on, and HHS is seeking public comment to help ensure the notices are useful transparency tools for consumers.

In the individual market, the Affordable Care Act allows the Secretary to adjust the medical loss ratio standard for a state if it is determined that meeting that standard may destabilize the state’s individual insurance market. HHS has concluded its review of 18 state requests for adjustments to the medical loss ratio rule. As a result of HHS’ decision to deny insurance companies the ability to spend more premium dollars on administrative overhead costs rather than on medical claims, consumers will receive up to $323 million in rebates this year compared to what would have been owed if all state adjustment requests were fully granted, according to data from state regulators and issuer reports.

These adjustment request determinations were made as a result of a transparent and data-driven process, and the documentation related to each state’s request has been publicly posted. In total, HHS determined that no adjustment was necessary in ten states, approved an altered adjustment in six states, and approved the request sought by one state. This includes a denied adjustment for Wisconsin, and an altered adjustment for North Carolina, both announced today.

Today’s announcement is part of the Obama Administration’s effort to increase transparency in the health insurance marketplace. The notification will let consumers know if their insurer did not meet the 80/20 standard — and that they or their employer will receive a rebate. HHS is also considering requiring insurers notify consumers if their insurer did meet the 80/20 standard. For the text of these proposed notifications, please visit:

Health care reform law penalties for employers not yet set

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

Business Insurance reports:

“Employers will not face health care reform law penalties if they do not offer affordable coverage to employees’ dependents and they may not even have to extend coverage to dependents, depending on the outcome of regulatory guidance.Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, employers will be assessed an annual $3,000 per employee penalty starting in 2014 if the health care coverage they provide is not affordable.


Illinois wants comments on health insurance exchange

Sunday, November 21st, 2010

Bloomberg reports:

“Illinois is seeking public comment on the structure, governance and financing of an online insurance exchange. Individuals and small businesses would be able to shop for health coverage through the exchange.

The nation’s new health overhaul law requires the exchanges to be running in states by 2014.

Illinois’ Health Care Reform Implementation Council has more than two dozen questions on its website.

Questions include: Should health plans compete on price and quality to get into the exchange? Or should all insurers be allowed to sell coverage? Should there be one exchange or two for the individual and small group markets?

The council wants comments by Dec. 3.”

Download the full release from the Illinois Governor here.

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