Note: **this is the first (1) of a series of four (4) blog posts that are related to healthcare reform. We recommend that you read them in order. Here is the suggested order of reading:

  1. Healthcare Reform: The Major Players
  2. Phrases Made Easy: “Defined Benefit” and “Defined Contribution”
  3. The Great Transition: Healthcare Benefits & Defined Contribution
  4. Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRAs): The Employee Benefits Home Run

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Now that healthcare reform has made it through Congress, been signed by the President, was upheld by the Supreme Court, and survived an additional presidential election… we’re assuming the law is here to stay.

So with that… we need to introduce to our clients, potential clients, and colleagues the “cast of characters” that are important as this legislation sets in. ie: some of the major players. Here’s the scouting report:

#1) State Health Insurance Exchanges: In California, the exchange is called “Covered California” (www.coveredca.com). There is still much to be announced (because these exchanges have not yet completely taken shape). As information becomes available, we’ll roll it out. Begin to understand State Health Insurance Exchanges: they’re set to start January 1st, 2014.

#2) “Guaranteed Issue” Mandate: The phrase “Guaranteed Issue” is an insurance term. It means a policy must be offered to any eligible applicant without regard to health status. In other words, if you apply for coverage, you must be accepted. Starting on January 1st, 2014… all health insurance policies must be guaranteed issue.

#3) Health Insurance Mandate: The law imposes a health insurance mandate (for nearly all Americans) to take effect starting in 2014, based on the Congressional power to regulate tax. Know where (and how) you can obtain affordable coverage.

#4) Individual & Family Plans (IFP): Currently there are only two segments of health insurance: A) Individual and Family Plans and B) Group Health Insurance.

The Individual and Family Plan (or IFP) segment is set to expand considerably starting in 2014. The reason: preexisting conditions must be covered at that time.

#5) Large Employer Mandate (+50 employees): Starting in 2014, the Act requires employers with 50 or more equivalent full-time employees to offer health insurance that is “affordable, minimum essential coverage” (and if not, face tax penalties). Specific questions about tax penalties should be directed to your tax advisor.

 #6) Account-Based & Defined Contribution Health Planning: Health Savings Accounts (or HSAs), and Health Reimbursement Arrangements (or HRAs) will be an important tool for employers in the post healthcare reform environment. Look for health benefits planning strategies to continue to move in this direction. “Equity-based” health planning involves pairing-up health insurance policies with tax-advantaged reimbursement accounts.

#7) Medicare & Medicaid: There were significant portions of the law that were relevant to Medicare and Medicaid. You’ll want to stay up-to-date on those topics. If you have questions, we’re currently referring them to our Medicare and Medicaid affiliates.

#8) Changes: This was large and far-reaching legislation… over time, legislation of this magnitude has a tendency to go through changes. Know and understand this may occur (most likely if/when things don’t go as planned). Some of these changes may be as important as the above mentioned topics. In the years to come, there may be additions and subtractions to portions of the law. Simply: you’ll want to stay up-to-date with changes.

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That concludes our introduction of healthcare reform’s major players. The above “cast of characters” will give our clients, potential clients, and colleagues a good place to start when trying to understand this large (and sometimes complicated) piece of legislation.

Over the coming weeks and months, we’ll continue to roll out information that is pertinent to these subjects. We invite you to follow along as we continue to move forward. We like sharing great information. We’ll be your resource in one place.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope our information was valuable to you. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.PolicyAdvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PolicyAdvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PolicyAdvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/PolicyAdvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/PolicyAdvantage

Word Press: http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com

Important Editor’s Note 11/22/2013: Since posting these original blog posts, federal guidance regarding “Stand-Alone HRAs” (which are addressed in some places throughout these articles) has undergone significant changes. In order to stay in full IRS/ERISA compliance, please be advised that there are now many additional considerations when adopting this type of benefits planning strategy. Consult with a proper broker or insurance professional before utilizing employer dollars to purchase individual health insurance policies. 

At Policy Advantage Insurance Services… we’re all set to keep-up with the political climate.

Begin to check our various outlets over the next few weeks after tomorrow’s election. We’ll share some great information that’s relevant to the results.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope our information was valuable to you. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.policyadvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/policyadvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/policyadvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/policyadvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/policyadvantage

Word Press (you are here): http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com

There’s an election coming up soon, and regardless of results… we’ll have some valuable information to share with you.

So for now… we have some simple IF/THEN election advice:

IF: Obama wins the election, THEN: Start to understand state health insurance exchanges and the Affordable Care Act.

IF: Romney wins the election, THEN: Stay tuned for possible Affordable Care Act changes/repeal.

That’s all for now… pretty simple.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope our information was valuable to you. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.policyadvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/policyadvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/policyadvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/policyadvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/policyadvantage

Word Press (you are here): http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com

You probably received a flyer, or heard from us online.  We’re glad that you’re here!

Also… hello to all of our current colleagues…

Every once in a while, we’ll run a short info “campaign.” We’ll get valuable, up-to-date, and relevant content out to our friends, clients, and potential clients.  If you’re familiar with us, as you already know… we like sharing good information.

Basic goals of a Policy Advantage Insurance Services “Information Campaign”:

  1. AWARENESS.  Be aware that we share valuable and relevant information.
  2. FAMILIARITY.  We want people to know where they can access information: (ie: www.policyadvantage.com, YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, etc).
  3. SUBSCRIBE & SHARE. We encourage people to follow, subscribe, and stay “in the know” about financing (paying for) healthcare. We’d also like you to share our information w/ friends & colleagues.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope our information was valuable to you. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.policyadvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/policyadvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/policyadvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/policyadvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/policyadvantage

Word Press (you are here): http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com

A is for:

“ADVERSE SELECTION”

GreyAAdverse selection is the tendency for higher risks to seek more insurance coverage than lower risks.

Example: A 57 year old female with diabetes and a history of chronic illness would have a tendency to seek more health insurance coverage than a healthy 23 year old male.

Interesting Point: As it stands (starting in 2014) adverse selection will no longer be an underwriting consideration in the health insurance industry. Why? Because those who apply for coverage, must be accepted. This is known as guaranteed issue.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope our information was valuable to you. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.policyadvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/policyadvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/policyadvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/policyadvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/policyadvantage

Word Press (you are here): http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com

Thanks for stopping by; we’re glad that you’re here. We have a lot of great information to share with you.

Over the course of the next few years, there will be many things taking place in our industry! Stay tuned… we’re going to get you some valuable information. This is information that will help you save money while you put all the pieces together.

PolicyAdvantageJPEGLogo

For those who are wondering, we help individuals and organizations put together strategies to pay for their healthcare services:

You may be looking for an insurance plan, a dental plan, or even an alternative funding tool (ie: something like a health savings account or health reimbursement arrangement). You might also be trying to understand more about new government options… or… you could be looking at ways to potentially save some tax dollars. Regardless of what you’re looking for… we provide relevant, current information on topics like these.

Just like anything else: family budgets, starting a business, investments, education, etc… there is planning involved. We’ll be your resource in one place where you can ask your questions.

When we say “give yourself the advantage” we really mean it. We provide high-quality and up-to-date information to help you plan. We also provide you with many different company options. This can help you with pricing and choices.

Thanks for stopping by, we hope our information was valuable to you. Check back at our blog to get further information about funding healthcare. Also, please share with your friends, clients, colleagues, and family. Here are a few of our other information outlets:

Home Page: http://www.policyadvantage.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/policyadvantage

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/policyadvantage

YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/policyadvantage

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/policyadvantage

Word Press (you are here): http://www.policyadvantage.wordpress.com