Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) June 26, 2013
Article shared from: www.insurancenewsnet.com
Nearly 15.5 million Americans are covered by Health Savings Account (HSA)-eligible insurance plans, an increase of nearly 15 percent since last year, according to a new census released today by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP). The census also found that the greatest enrollment increases were in the large group market, which represents nearly 70 percent of all enrollment in health savings account/high-deductible health plans (HSA/HDHPs) in 2013.
HSA plans were authorized by Congress starting in January 2004. Since then, AHIP has conducted an annual census of the number of people covered by HSA/HDHPs. This year’s census shows that enrollment in HSA plans has more than tripled over the last six years, from 4.5 million enrollees in January 2007 to 15.5 million in January 2013.
“HSA plans have given individuals and employers a valuable coverage option,” said Karen Ignagni, AHIP President and CEO. “HSA plans encourage individuals to take an active role in their health care decisions while stretching their health care dollars.”
Key findings from the census include:
– The number of individuals with HSA coverage rose to nearly 15.5 million in January 2013, up from 13.5 in January 2012. Enrollment has continued to increase each year of the census with 11.4 million enrolled in coverage in January 2011, 10.0 million in January 2010, 8.0 million in January 2009, and 6.1 million in January 2008.
– Between January 2012 and January 2013, the most significant enrollment gains occurred in the large group market. The number of HSA/HDHP covered lives enrolled in large group plans increased from 7.9 million in January 2012 to 9.6 million in January 2013.
– Forty-nine (49) percent of all HSA/HDHP enrollees in the individual market (including dependents covered under family plans) were age 40 or over; 51 percent were under the age of 40.
– States with the highest levels of HSA/HDHP enrollment were Illinois (903,000 enrollees), Texas (889,364 enrollees), California (808,019 enrollees), Ohio (686,616 enrollees) and Michigan (577,208 enrollees).
Consumer Decision Support Tools for HSA Enrollees
The census also found that the vast majority of individuals enrolled in a HSA plan have access to a variety of tools and resources, including information for selecting appropriate providers and hospitals, to help make more informed health care decisions for themselves and their family members.
To learn more about the value of HSA plans, visit the Health Savings Alliance at http://www.hsaalliance.org.
Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/6/prweb10873395.htm.
Whether you are tying the knot this summer, or have recently exchanged wedding vows, the Reno Agency has some tips for the newlyweds.
Marriage is a great time to re-evaluate your insurance coverage to make sure you are appropriately covered, and to take advantage of all the discounts you are now eligible for. Here are a few areas to look at once you have tied the knot:
Auto Insurance – If both you and your spouse have vehicles, talk to your agent to combine your insurance policies and take advantage of the multi-car discount. Marital status may also help reduce your premium, so make sure to add your spouse’s information to your policy.
Home or Renter’s Insurance – Now that you are married, it is important to protect your new home together. Have your agent review your policy to make sure your homeowners or renter’s policy protects both of you in terms of personal possessions and liability coverage.
If you and your spouse purchased a home, insure your home and autos with the same company to receive the multi-policy discount. If you and your spouse are renting, get a renter’s insurance policy to qualify for this discount. Renter’s insurance is more affordable than many might think. Read, “4 Lessons to School Millennials on Renter’s Insurance,” for more information.
Life Insurance – Marriage means having someone you can depend on for life. Knowing you depend upon each other means you should consider a life insurance policy. Life insurance is important to have if you have debt (credit cards, medical bills, etc), own a home with a mortgage, are planning on having children, or if you want to plan ahead while you are in good health.
There are different types of life insurance policies (Term, Whole, Universal), so make sure to consult your agent on which type(s) are best for you.
Health Insurance – Save money and consolidate your health insurance into one plan! Marriage is oftentimes a qualifying life event that allows you to make changes to your insurance policy. If both of your employers offer health insurance, choose the better plan.
Planning a wedding can be stressful enough. Don’t let insurance stress you out further. Update your insurance policies early and enjoy marital bliss.
If you need assistance with your insurance policies, call the Reno Agency at 269.792.2232 or toll-free at 877.774.7366.
Are you wondering how the health care reform law (the Affordable Care Act) will impact you or your business? I have compiled a few resources to help you learn what to expect.
is an excellent source to learn about what will be changing and when you can expect those changes to occur. Here is a breakdown of the changes ahead for 2013 and beyond, as listed on http://www.healthcare.gov/law/timeline/full.html.
IMPROVING QUALITY AND LOWERING COSTS
INCREASING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE CARE
NEW CONSUMER PROTECTIONS
IMPROVING QUALITY AND LOWERING COSTS
INCREASING ACCESS TO AFFORDABLE CARE
IMPROVING QUALITY AND LOWERING COSTS
The U.S. Small Business Administration is launching a new series to explain the basics of the law, what you need to do to comply, and how your business can benefit from new incentives. The first article in the series, written by Meredith Olafson, highlights three big things every small business owner should know about the Affordable Care Act.
Meredith Olafson is Senior Policy Advisor for the U.S. Small Business Administration where she oversees the agency’s education and outreach efforts around health care and the Affordable Care Act.
The Affordable Care Act will help small businesses by lowering premium cost growth and increasing access to quality, affordable health insurance. Depending on whether you’re a small employer or a larger employer, different provisions of the Affordable Care Act may apply to you as described below.
1. Businesses with Fewer than 25 Employees- Small Business Tax Credits
The Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but it offers tax credits for eligible small businesses that choose to provide insurance to their employees. To qualify for a small business tax credit of up to 35% (up to 25% for non-profits), you must have:
Beginning in 2014, this tax credit goes up to 50% (35% for non-profits) and is available to qualified small businesses who participate in the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchanges.
2. Businesses with 50 or Fewer Employees- Affordable Insurance Marketplaces
The Affordable Care Act does not require that businesses provide health insurance, but beginning in 2014, small businesses with generally 50 or fewer employees will be able to purchase coverage through SHOP , competitive marketplaces where small employers can go to find health coverage from a selection of providers. The SHOP Marketplaces and Individual Marketplaces for those who are self-employed open on January 1, 2014. Open enrollment begins on October 1, 2013. SHOP will offer small businesses increased purchasing power similar to that of large businesses.
3. Businesses with 50 or More Employees- Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions
Under the Affordable Care Act, the Federal government, State governments, insurers, employers, and individuals share the responsibility to reform and improve the availability, quality, and affordability of health insurance coverage in the United States. Employers are not required to provide coverage to their employees under the Affordable Care Act. However, beginning in 2014, businesses with 50 or more full-time employees (or full-time equivalents) that do not offer affordable health insurance that provides a minimum level of coverage to substantially all of their full-time employees (and their dependents) may be subject to an employer shared responsibility payment if at least one of their full-time employees receives a premium tax credit to purchase coverage in an insurance Marketplace. A full-time employee is generally one who is employed an average of 30 or more hours per week.
If you meet or are close to this threshold level of full-time employees, it’s important to understand how these rules may apply to you and how the employer shared responsibility payments could be triggered. For more guidance on the employer shared responsibility payments, refer to this FAQ from the IRS.
It’s the beginning of a new year, and with that brings the numerous resolutions that will be made (and broken) before the end of January. The number one resolution always seems to be, ‘get healthy’. And why wouldn’t you want to? There are many benefits to good health including taking less medications, less doctor/hospital visits, and oh yeah, lower insurance costs.
If you are a small business owner, answer this question: Does your company offer your employees a health and wellness Program? If no, why not? Health insurance premiums are always increasing it seems, and if you could offer a way to help maintain those premiums, or even lower those premiums, wouldn’t you consider a program such as this?
The U.S. Small Business Administration provides the why and how to implement a health and wellness program in your small business. Read an excerpt from the article, “Why and How to Implement a Health and Wellness Program in Your Small Business” below. For the full article, visit http://www.sba.gov/community/blogs/community-blogs/small-business-cents/why-and-how-implement-health-and-wellness-progr
Tips for Implementing Health and Wellness Programs in Your Small Business
So how can you go about planning and implementing a program that makes sense for your business, with the limited resources available to you? Health and wellness plans don’t have to break the bank. With a bit of creativity there are many things you can do to keep employees health and happy.
Here are a few tips:
Talk to your employees. Find out what aspects of an employer-sponsored health and wellness plan they would value most. It could be discounted gym memberships, quarterly sponsored walks/runs, or employee-led healthy cooking workshops. maybe it’s just more awareness of free or low-cost preventative care options covered by your healthcare insurance plan.
Get ideas for your wellness program. This blog from former SBA guest blogger, Dawn Rivers Baker, offers some creative and engaging ideas for a low-cost or no-cost employee wellness program.
Get help structuring specific programs. The Centers for Disease Control provides some great online tools to help you design and structure your wellness programs. For example, CDC LEAN Works is a free web-based resource that can help employers design effective worksite obesity prevention and control programs, including an obesity cost calculator to estimate how much obesity is costing your company and how much in savings your company could reap with different sorts of workplace interventions.
Consult your healthcare insurance provider. Many now offer tools and resources to help employers develop programs. Familiarize yourself with the types of programs that make sense for your business.
Get help from small business assistance groups. Check in with your local Small Business Development Center or Chamber of Commerce. They may have resources or seminars that can help you build the right program for your business.
Another great read from the U.S. Small Business Administration on how to reduce the cost of health insurance can be found here.
Let’s start off 2013 with a commitment to live healthy! Make small changes, take small steps, and soon enough you will see big results.
Whether you are for or against President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, the main question now is not “Will it happen,” but “How will they make it happen.” There are 11 months left before millions of uninsured Americans are able to get health care coverage, but there are still many questions about how the President will execute those plans. Here is an article from InsuranceNewsNet.com that provides an update to where we are now, and what has to be done over the next several months to implement a successful transition.
Are you turning 65 soon and need help finding a Medicare plan? Are you 65+ and want to see if you can save money by switching Medicare plans? Or do you have a disability that qualifies you for Medicare? Open enrollment for Medicare is now through December 7, and if you have questions, the Reno Agency is here to assist. Call us today at 269.792.2232 to schedule your appointment.
In the meantime, www.medicare.gov is an excellent place to start if you have questions.
In Michigan, both Blue Cross Blue Shield and Priority Health have expanded their Medicare products. Read the full articles here to find out more information.
The state Senate approved an overhaul of Blue Cross Blue Shield-MI’s corporate structure in efforts to modernize the company and level the playing field between the non-profit and its competitors. Read the full story here.