By Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP
Tanya L. Burns and Associates, Inc.
Article submitted by Tanya L. Burns, LUTCF, RHU, LTCP, to share a health insurance update. If you’d like to submit an article, email Kelly Sawyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
ASSOCIATION HEALTH PLANS
Allows Employer Groups and Associations to form AHPs allowing AHPs to offer health coverage to employers in a state city, county or multi-state metro area, including Nationwide. Sole Proprietors can join AHPs to elect health coverage for themselves and their families. APSs cannot charge higher premiums or deny coverage to members due to pre-existing conditions. AHPs cannot cancel coverage if an employee or family member becomes ill.
Allow Sam Employers (Including self-employed workers) to band together to purchase health coverage. The new rule expands coverage for ALL small employers regardless of geographic location or industry (i.e. physician office, real estate office & law firm can band together forming the “Central Florida Professional Association”).
The effective date for the NEW rules: September 1, 2018, for an association looking to establish a new plan.
The association must have an organized structure including Governing Body and Bylaws and be controlled by its membership. Associations must have a business purpose (i.e. offering health benefits) and be a viable entity.
Association Members must be Active Employees of a current association member employer. Spouses, partners, & dependent of the Active Member may participate in AHP coverage. Former employees of a current association member employer. The Association will be treated as a Single Employer.
Please visit the U.S. Department of Labor for more information.
MEDICARE POSTS 2019 MEDICARE B Rates:
- Individuals earning Less Than $85,000 or Couples earning Less Than $170,000: $135.50 (up $134.00 this year).
- Individuals earning $160,000 – $500,000 or Couples earning $320,000 to $750,000: $433.40 (up from $428.60 this year).
- Individuals earning $500,000 or more and Couples earning $750,000 or more: $460.50 (up from $428.60 this year).
- U.S. Justice Department Blesses CVS-Aetna Acquisition
The Department of Justice agreed on October 10th to clear any federal antitrust barriers to CVS Corporation’s proposed $69 Billion acquisition of Aetna, Inc. Aetna previously announced an agreement to sell its individual stand-alone Medicare Part D prescription drug plan program to WellCare Health Plans, Inc.
The biggest remaining obstacle to completion of the CVS-Aetna acquisition is the need for both entities to get the approval of Katharine Wade, Connecticut Insurance Commissioner. Stay tuned for more information as currently there is a variety of objections to this pending acquisition including the American Medical Association, Consumers Union. CVS and Aetna are both stating their “deal” will create savings but have not yet made any firm commitments on whether/how those savings would be passed on to the consumer.
Stay Tuned – for as we learn – we share. Thank you for the privilege to serve!