Archive for March, 2010

Healthcare Reform Update – March 2010

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

The House passed the Senate’s Healthcare Reform Bill (see below for highlights) on Sunday, and the President signed it into law on Monday. The House then passed a companion bill that would bring changes to the Senate bill.  Some of these changes include:

More subsidies for lower income individuals and families to help purchase health insurance.
A push back from 2014 to 2018 on the tax to be imposed on expensive “Cadillac” health insurance plans; the premium level establishing a plan as a “Cadillac” plan has been increased, as well.

The slow reduction of the Medicare Prescription Drug benefit “donut hole” beginning this year; seniors who hit this gap in 2010 would receive $250 to offset costs.

A cut of $200 billion in subsidies that go to insurers who offer private alternatives to Medicare.

An increase in Medicaid payments to doctors to align with Medicare rates to help ensure there will be enough doctors to handle the newly insured.

An increase to the Medicare tax for individuals earning over $200,000 and couples earning over $250,000 annually. This tax would also apply to investment earnings such as dividends.

Removal of the, “Cornhusker Kickback” provision that has angered many.

An additional tax for taxpayers with adjusted income more than $200,000 ($250,000 for joint filers) of 3.8% tax on net investment income (such as interest, dividends, capital gains).

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More Employers Offering Wellness Plans

Monday, March 15th, 2010

Leslie M. Carlet was featured in the South Florida Business Journal with her take on the effect of health care increases in the small to middle group market.

More Employers Offering Wellness Programs-March 5, 2010

COBRA Subsidy Extended

Monday, March 15th, 2010

As you may know Congress extended the COBRA Premium Reduction Subsidy an additional 31 days through the end of March. This means that anyone terminated involuntarily through 3/31/2010 could be eligible for the COBRA Premium Reduction Subsidy (if they also meet a few other qualifiers). We are in the process of having our legal team update our notices to reflect the recent legislative changes, and will be sending out COBRA Election Notices for anyone terminated 3/1 or after once we have the updated notices back from legal.

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