The Impacts of Medicaid Estate-Recovery on Health Care Reform Enrollment

A current Federal law may deter the enrollment of lower-income families in the new Medicaid program. This law allows state recovery of Medicaid payments from estates of deceased recipients for the costs of nursing home stays, long-term care units, and other such services. However, some states are taking it a step further and are attempting to claim funds for other medical expenses. An article from Modern Healthcare has the details.

Panel deems CHIP Extension Necessary

Although no formal vote has yet been made, the panel that lends insight to Congress about Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program reached consensus that extended funding will be necessary for the latter before the program ends on October 1, 2015. Learn more about the Children’s Health Insurance Program, its needs, and the history behind the program in an article posted by Modern Healthcare.

Top 10 Least Expensive Markets for Health Insurance

Much of Minnesota as well as a few other Eide Bailly markets are among the regions with the cheapest insurance premiums. Costs are kept low by the presence of competition between hospitals and medical providers. Check out the numbers and see if your region has made the list in the below article by NPR and Kaiser Health News!

Eide Bailly’s Exchange might also serve as a good resource for affordable insurance.

Different Plans for Different People

How do the different levels in the exchange apply to married couples and families? Do they all need to be on the same level of health plan, or can one spouse get a silver plan and the other gold? This question was posed to Kaiser Health News, and Michelle Andrews explains. Click on Kaiser Health News to view the article.

Coverage Rules for Mental Health and Addiction

With all of the recent discussion surrounding Health Care Reform, many are wondering about the new coverage rules for mental health and addiction. The treatment of mental health issues and addiction has been deemed an “essential health benefit,” and within the next year will be covered on equal terms with physical illness for insurance plans sold in the Marketplace. The New York Times recently wrote an article explaining these new rules and what this coverage implies.  Click on New York times to view!

Pay or Play Penalties Delayed

Yesterday the Treasury and IRS delayed the “pay or play penalties” for an additional year for businesses with 50-99 employees.  There is also a phase in period during 2015 in which large businesses (100+ employees) will avoid penalties if they cover at least 70% of their full-time employees versus the previous 95% safe harbor.

The final guidance also notes that employers with 50-99 FTEs will NOT automatically be issued relief for this penalty.   They will receive transitional relief if they certify that they meet the following three requirements:

1. Limited workforce size (50-99)

2. Didn’t eliminate or reduce their employee health coverage that was in effect as of February 9, 2014

3. They didn’t reduce their workforce or the hours of their employees as of February 9, 2014.
Click here for the Department of Treasury Release.

Click here to read an article from the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post about the delay.

Additional information will follow.