States Feel the Impact of PPACA on Medicaid

February 1st, 2012

U.S.Medicaid enrollment has dramatically increased since the passage of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) coupled with the downward trend in the economy.

Due to this high enrollment and related costs, states are now implementing new revenue sources (i.e. taxes) to help offset the additional cost of providing Medicaid and other PPACA requirements (ex. Exchanges).

The Financial Impact in Michigan

One state that has implemented a new revenue source is Michigan. Employees and employers who have employees living in Michigan, will be impacted by Governor Snyder's P.A. 142. Beginning January 1, 2012 certain third party administrators, insurance carriers, and self-insured entities, are required to pay an assessment on certain paid healthcare claims. The tax amount on assessment is 1%, which is expected to raise $400 million dollars per year. The tax impacts claims incurred after December 31, 2011.

Following a Trend

Tax history shows that once one state moves in a certain direction, others are bound to follow. Stand by for more states to follow in Michigan's footsteps. Other states may not use Michigan's method, but will certainly find other ways to receive revenue for the ever increasing Medicaid and other PPACA requirements.

A Trusted Partner: IAA

Self-funded groups with Insurance Administrator of America will continue to have our government compliance support. IAA will process and report any assessment on covered Michigan residents who incur claims in that state.

IAA is always on the watch for any changes in healthcare, be it on the federal or state level. We like to think of ourselves as your healthcare watchdog; always there and always loyal to you.

To read more blog posts about the PPACA click here and here.

Public Employees Start Paying Into Their Healthcare Plan

January 25th, 2012

Money pillsIn June of 2011 Governor Chris Christie signed a bill that requires public employees to contribute to the cost of their health insurance. Prior to this change in the law, most public employees had very little out-of-pocket costs related to their medical care. Consequently, there was no incentive for covered employees to help reduce medical insurance costs.

Now With "Skin in the Game," Members Want Lower Cost Medical Programs

With these new costs, New Jersey Municipalities and School Boards may need to look to other healthcare options besides the expensive, but popular, NJ State Health Plan (NJSHP). Historically, the NJ State Health Plan required public entities to fund a monthly fixed premium. These premiums often funded:

  • Higher insurance company administration cost
  • Claim expenses of other municipalities
  • Insurance company profits
  • Large claim reserves
  • Capitation fees
  • Higher than necessary trend loads

 These are just some of the issues that can be encountered when using NJSHP. By choosing a different healthcare plan you can get rid of unnecessary costs.

IAA Wants to be Part of Your Solution

Insurance Administrator of America wants to help you become part of the solution. The IAA Program will:

  • Reduce plan cost and often will be able to lower members payroll contribution
  • Allow for flexibility in the benefit design, to meet the group's family needs and budgets
  • Only fund claims for the covered entities employees and covered family members

Everyone's costs are lower and the employee satisfaction is higher!

Evesham Township made the decision to use IAA as their Third Party Administrator (TPA) rather than stay with NJSHP. Their decision to change will now allow them to have benefits and safeguards that they did not have before.

Sometimes becoming part of the solution means having to turn to others for help. IAA is your insurance shoulder to lean on.   

Flexible Spending Plan Less Flexible? IAA Can Help!

January 18th, 2012

Stethoscope and moneyDue to the new health law, the Patient Protection Act, your flexible spending plan is about to become a bit less flexible.

Medical Reimbursement Flexible Spending Accounts (MRFSA) have long been a valuable tool for budget-wise consumers. These accounts let you use pretax dollars to pay for eligible out-of-pocket healthcare expenses (ex. deductibles, co-pays, dental care). You agree to set aside a certain amount of money each year, usually through paycheck deductions, based on what you expect your healthcare needs are going to be. Do you know you are going to need $1,000 for out-of-pocket medical expenses? By using a MRFSA you would not be taxed on that money. By using pretax dollars, you can reduce your overall cost for these items by about 20 percent.

As of today, there is no IRC limit on the amount of money that can be redirected to your Medical Reimbursement Flexible Spending Account. However, effective January 1st, 2013, a provision of the PPACA will implement a maximum medical reimbursement benefit of $2,500 annually, making healthcare a little less flexible for many of us.

IAA Has the Tools for You

Let's not worry over things we can't control. What we can do is begin to plan on how the change might impact our take home pay. IAA has a great tool to help you plan and budget: it is a calculator tool that is also a perfect planning tool.

This handy little tool can be found after you login to the IAA website:

  1. Go to: Benefits/Claims
  2. Click on: Click Here for Flex/HRA Information
  3. A new screen will pop up: Click on Calculators on the left hand side
  4. Click on: Section 125 Calculator
  5. Plug in your information  

For non members who would like to try the calculator, please contact us for login information.

The calculator allows you to run through scenarios on how much you can save depending upon the amount you would put into the FSA. After you enter in the information, you can see the best way to increase your net take home pay. With this calculator you can see how much you can save in tax deductions with an FSA.

Do you want additional convenience? See the handy dandy video about the IAA MyResource Debit Card.

IAA is on your side, coming up with solutions to help with these new turn of events. We'll come up with useful tools; you just need to use them. It's a great partnership.

Want to see more articles on how the Patient Protection Act will affect you? Check out this blog post.

IAA Offers More For One Price Bucking the Industry Norms!

January 11th, 2012

GroupIt used to be that when you bought Consumer Directed Services, it was like dining a la' cart. Want a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)? Not a problem that will be five-dollars. Would you like to add a Health Reimbursement Account (HRA)? That will be an additional two-dollars.

Now with Insurance Administrator of America feel free to have the entrée with all the side dishes for the same price. All new business effective January 2012 can access as many accounts as they want, with no additional unit costs.

IAA Wants to Pay it Forward to Our Current Clients Too!

If your business is already with IAA, you can now add new accounts at no additional unit cost. During these hard economic times maintaining a sound employee benefit program can be financially difficult. IAA wants to help you continue to succeed with a little "Pay it Forward." There is no better way to do that than by having one price for multiple services.

Take Advantage of Our Services 

Now that clients have the ability to pick and choose their consumer directed services at no additional costs, what would you like to add on? Do you want to add parking and transit or dependent care? Maybe add a HRA on top of your FSA? The decision is up to you

IAA is here to provide clients with the best resources possible. With this economic climate, IAA wants to ensure that our clients are getting as much for their money as possible.

So when you sit down to dinner remember, IAA will let you pick and choose what you want. We like to think of it as our insurance buffet.

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Insurance Brokers vs. Medical Loss Ratio? Not Necessarily

January 4th, 2012

On January 1st of this year, a new rule regarding medical loss ratio regulations came into effect. Medical loss ratio is part of the Affordable Care Act.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued a new regulation that states health insurers are required to spend at least 80% of individual and small group premiums on medical care and 85% for large group premiums. This leaves the remainder for administrative costs, which will have to include insurance brokers' commissions. If carriers do not meet this requirement then they must provide a rebate to customers.

Most commissions amount to four or five percent of the premium. Consequently, insurance carriers are going to decide on profits or to pay commissions. This ruling is going to also put pressure on a carrier's ability to offer the consumer favored (lower premium) Qualified High Deductible Health Plans. Lower premiums mean less money available for carriers to pay their cost of business, let alone profits or commissions. They won't be able to afford to offer them!

Here is Your Solution: MLR Does Not Apply to Self-Funded Plans

While insurance brokers may be worried about the cut to their commission, Insurance Administrator of America is here to reassure you that as a broker, with self-funded medical plans there would be no loss. MLR does not include self-funded medical plans, plus employers enjoy a lower cost of providing a health insurance plan. Qualified High Deductible Health Plans will still be available to your employer. When a broker has a self-funded plan with IAA they are able to define their compensation.

Isn't it nice to know that in the New Year IAA has you covered? We put that one on our list of New Year's resolutions.

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