Broker, Insurer Revenues Rise as Uninsured Rate and Wages Fall

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With tax day just one week away, many Americans are being reminded that 2014 was the first year they will have to pay a penalty for not having health insurance. The requirement to get health coverage is leading more and more people to sign up for health insurance and helping to reduce the rate of the uninsured. At the same time, these new customers are helping to bolster profits at the largest brokerages and insurance companies. The cost ...

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King v. Burwell arguments begin Wednesday

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The U.S. Supreme Court will begin hearing oral arguments in the King v. Burwell case on Wednesday, March 4. The case represents the most serious legal challenge to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) since the Court largely upheld the law in 2012. If the Court sides against the government, it has been estimated that more than 8 million people in 34 states (including Wisconsin) could lose their premium subsidies and go back to being uninsured.

In the case, four ...

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DOL Health Plan Audits Underway

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Employers who sponsor health plans for their employees must be prepared to pass a health plan audit by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), recent reports indicate. Since 2009, the DOL has hired hundreds of new auditors to bring increased scrutiny to employer compliance with various laws and regulations. The first areas of emphasis revolved around wage and hour and employee classification issues, but with implementation of the Affordable Care Act nearly complete, health plans are receiving increased attention. The ...

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Measuring Hours of Service: Why and How

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Now that the final employer shared responsibility regulations have been released, employers of 100 or more should begin preparing for January 1, 2015.  One facet of this preparation is whether or not to utilize measurement periods and how they should be implemented.  Measurement periods help an employer track employees’ hours of service.  If an employee averages 30 or more hours of service per week they must be offered benefits.

Variable hour employees pose a risk to an employer because their schedules ...

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